Public involvement is central to building healthy communities that meet our needs.
When citizens engage in a process about important community issues—such as neighbourhood design, transportation planning, and food security, among others—they not only create the communities they want to live in but they also reap the personal benefits for health and well-being that come from the very act of being involved. Citizen participation can improve the quality of the discussions and bolster public support for decisions made.
Beyond citizen engagement for policy decisions and planning, there is also a need for community capacity building. Community capacity building is a multi-faceted approach that supports citizens and community organizations to build the capacities—the skills, knowledge, and relationships—needed to participate in and ultimately play a leadership role in creating healthy communities from the ground up. Citizens, organizations and governments can work together to build the capacity needed to tackle the difficult root causes of issues like obesity, food insecurity and social isolation.
Read more about the two main forms of public involvement: