Resources for Small, Rural and Remote Communities
Now Available: 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.
Powell River's two-day Walkability Forum helped community members see the linkages between health and the built environment. The Forum is an example of local governments and a health authority working together on implementing a common priority - active transportation.
The District of Houston created a Health and Wellness Charter that helps the northern community cope with challenges, plan effectively, and work towards a shared vision that provides greater health for all residents. The Charter incorporates contributions from partners and organisations within the rural community and stakeholders from across the Bulkley-Nechako region.
This study includes a literature review and approach that may be useful for other rural regions that are asking themselves "How can we get there (accessible affordable transportation for all) from here"?
- Alberni Clayoquot Regional District
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.
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 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
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 opening 30 pages of this guide provide a useful overview of research and literature related to thriving or resilient rural communities. The authors summarize five key traits of communities that thrive (willing to experiment with new ideas, positive mindset, a community plan, economic development capacity, leadership, healthy behaviours) and share examples from Australian small towns.
- Peter Kenyan and Allan Black, Australia
The Kootenay Smoke Free Coalition supports communities in creating tobacco reduction bylaws through a streamlined process supported by the best research available.
The Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) is a non-partisan, charitable organization with a focus on accessibility, community development, income security and social planning. This link takes you to their Social Inclusion Toolkits and Manuals.
- Social Planning and Research Council of BC
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) achieved a milestone in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection Program with Corporate Emissions and Community Energy Emissions Plans, and took a unified approach to sustainability.
This online guide provides resources for educators, including lesson plans linked to BC Curriculum Prescribed Learning Outcomes addressing the themes of air quality, health, and community engagement.
– Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable (PGAIR)
How the Cowichan Regional Airshed Roundtable used evidence and shared leadership to address air quality improvement in the region.
A report that focuses on regional planning and the relevance of parks and greenspace.
– Alberta Recreation and Parks Association
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.