Resources for Small, Rural and Remote Communities
Resources tailored to the rural community context!
This resource portal is a response to the unique opportunities, challenges, and approaches to fostering health and well-being in small, rural and remote communities in BC. The portal offers resources related to PlanH action areas with a rural lens.
The Rural Context
There are over 110 cities, towns, municipalities and villages in BC and of those, over 75% are small, rural or remote communities of less than 30,000 people.i A healthy community approach takes resources and leadership. This can be challenging in small and remote communities where there are fewer organizations, resources and volunteers to do the work. There is often no organization to lead on new or emerging issues like food security or support for seniors at home, and yet the need is often there.
On the positive side, there are many tools and examples of rural success and innovation. Many of these examples are stories of collaborating across sectors, and all of them illustrate “can do” attitudes and creativity to improve well-being.
Resources are organized by the same Take Action Areas as the rest of the PlanH site (Healthy Society, Healthy People, Healthy Environment) for ease of searching.
If you find the portal useful, or if you are looking for something specific, we would love to hear from you as we continue to develop the resources. Contact us here.
This tool kit is intended for use in rural communities. Municipalities, including planners, health authority staff, and elected officials are the intended audience, although the tool kit will also help other interested community members advocate for healthier communities and populations. Overall, this tool kit is meant for those interested in how the built environment and local development impacts health.
This link to the University of Northern BC, Community Development Institute takes you to Housing related papers: from a review of Cottage Country housing issues in Norman Lake, to an Economic Development Framework for Interpreting Housing Markets in Small Towns in Canada.
- University of Northern BC, Community Development Institute
For rural residents without a private vehicle, access to services is a significant barrier and an impediment to being active members of society. This resource describes the models and building blocks required for a co-ordinated approach in your community. - Rural Ontario Institute
In rural BC, it has been reported that the ‘boom and bust’ cycles of natural resource extraction development have been a significant factor in shaping the health inequities that are observed and experienced throughout the province. Accordingly, there is a strong desire to better assess and respond to the impacts of resource extraction and development on the social determinants of health (SDOH). This document seeks to assist local efforts by industry and other stakeholders in incorporating SDOH into managing and monitoring the impacts of natural resource extraction and development.
This publication documents research around eleven models of regional food aggregation and distribution in Wisconsin as a support for farmer and supply chain start-up planning. Authors: Lindsey Day-Farnsworth, Brent McCown, Michelle Miller, Anne Pfeiffer for UW-Extension Ag Innovation Center, UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
- University of Wisconsin Extension Ag Innovation Center and Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
The Rural Health Information Hub provides short, accessible, evidence based descriptions of a range of models, innovations and initiatives. Use this as a stepping off point to dig deeper or adapt the innovation into your own community.
- Rural Health Information Hub
Describes the steps and actions needed to develop and implement local community economic development strategies in smaller rural communities.
– Alberta Community and Co-operative Association
The Resilient Streets Toolkit includes information about resilience, different types of practical actions that small groups can take, examples of successful projects that people have done in their buildings or on their streets, information about supports that can be offered to groups, and loads of links to useful resources.
The Salt Spring Ag Alliance was founded by five key food stakeholders on the Island. Together they have developed a community abbattoir, and a produce centre is on the way. Their story illustrates what is possible in small places through formal partnerships.
- Plan To Farm
This report shares results from 11 communities in rural Minnesota that undertook assessment and planning to strengthen their information and communications technology. For local governments, business associations and planners.
- Intelligent Community Forum
A toolkit with different ideas for how local government and others can promote enjoyment of fruits and vegetables in remote communities including preservation, gardening, and others.
– BC Ministry of Health
Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) is a collaborative approach to building on the capacities of rural, remote and Northern British Columbian communities. LIRN BC can bring trainers and facilitators to your community to deliver a learning event for residents. Visit their website for information on applying for support.
This research explored the extent to which rural areas are and should be engaged with sustainability planning, what that looks like in a rural context and if stakeholders feel a sense of engagement with urban and provincial sustainability goals. The findings are important for local governments, planners and agriculture activists.
- Fraser Basin Council
This guide is intended to help practitioners—engineers, planners, health professionals, economic development officials and others—to improve travel options for residents of small and rural communities. This includes a range of actions that make personal transportation activities more sustainable— encouraging drivers to operate their cars more efficiently, or to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle, take transit or carpool instead.
– Transport Canada
This study examined rural homelessness dynamics in 22 communities across the provinces and territories. The aim of the research was to identify whether and how Housing First can be implemented in a rural context.
- Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff, PhD, Alina Turner, PhD, University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work