Think about how likely you would be to ride your bike to the park instead of driving, choose healthier foods, or stop to chat with neighbours if you didn’t feel safe or if the services you need are not accessible or affordable. Community design has significant influence on behaviour, and partnering with local governments in our public health efforts is a powerful strategy to encourage healthy living and prevent chronic disease.
Inspired to build social connectedness in you own community, but not sure where to start? Communities across the globe have come up with a variety of innovative approaches to fostering connection. Here’s a glimpse at the wide variety of unique initiatives out there:
At first glance, rural communities appear to have nothing to worry about when it comes to social connectedness. After all, rural communities generally report higher levels of many indicators of social connectedness than urban communities, including better access to networks of emotional and social support. But these statistics mask a hidden challenge in social connectedness unique to rural communities: rural poverty.
In Spring 2017, PlanH launched a new funding stream aimed at helping communities thrive by creating strong social environments and communities in which all people feel welcome and included. Social connectedness — both the sum of individual relationships and a sense of belonging — is crucial to overall health and wellbeing. When people feel more connected to their community, they’re more likely to engage and participate as members of that community.
BC Healthy Communities is beyond delighted to share some exciting news for anyone who’s been daydreaming about hitting the open road on two wheels. Until February 9, the BikeBC program is accepting applications from communities seeking funding to support cycling infrastructure projects. To date, there are over 100 examples of provincially funded projects throughout BC, and specific grants for smaller communities with a population under 15,000.
BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC), in partnership with the BC Alliance for Healthy Living (BCAHL), has awarded 15 communities that applied for funding to support upstream action to work towards measurable impact on physical activity, and improve opportunities for physical activity in their communities.
BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC), on behalf of the PlanH Program, attended the annual UBCM convention tradeshow in Vancouver on Sept 26 and 27th. With almost 2,000 delegates attending, BCHC had many opportunities to hear from local politicians from every corner of the province. Local governments were asked to identify opportunities and/or challenges in their healthy community work.
This year, through our PlanH initiative, we sponsored and participated at the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation’s 29th Annual Conference: Different by Design: Exploring Innovation for Rural Prosperity in Nelson, BC.
Loneliness is a major public health risk and even more dangerous than alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity and air pollution, says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.