Community Stories

Community members attend the OSHLC's Food Security Forum in April 2018.

The Okanagan Similkameen Healthy Living Coalition (OSHLC), with help from the BC Healthy Communities team through the PlanH program, recently completed a transformative strategic planning process that empowered the OSHLC to refocus its priorities to work on issues most important to those in the region.

When a community builds a program, they must pay attention to what they build on—foundations matter. Vernon, a city of 40,000 in the Okanagan, knew this well when residents started to transform their city into a Child and Youth Friendly Community in 2017. Vernon sought the best practical and academic advice it could, and found models to emulate from across the European Union and right here in BC.

More than forty stakeholders from the Lower Columbia Region collaborated over a series of workshops to develop a Healthy Communities Plan. Those involved wrote the plan to create additional support for existing and new initiatives, create efficiencies, and engage stakeholders to work towards a common goal. The City of Trail has now adopted it, and other communities will soon follow.

A multi-sectoral effort in the Cowichan Valley, under the leadership and guidance of Cowichan Elders, has been working together to foster social connections and to facilitate a cultural shift.

How the Cowichan Regional Airshed Roundtable used evidence and shared leadership to address air quality improvement in the region.

For the last two years the local government of Bowen Island has led a multi-sectoral and collaborative process to develop an active transportation network and reduce citizens’ reliance on cars. The result is the Integrated Transportation Master Plan (ITMP), a 20-year vision that will guide the municipality in all its transportation decisions.

In Nelson, BC, the Nelson Street Culture Collaborative, a multi-sectoral group, has launched a one year Street Outreach Pilot Project. This innovative group is engaging in a process for re-examining the complex systems that influence poverty, homelessness and create the barriers to an improved quality of life for Nelson’s street culture population.

The City of Vancouver has a bold and ambitious strategy to build a healthy city for all by 2025. The Healthy City Strategy and Action Plan is a long-term plan for healthier people, healthier places, and a healthier planet. It addresses health in the broadest sense by integrating elements that influence well-being and involving diverse sectors in a shared vision of a healthy city for all residents. Driving the strategy are passionate City staff, a committed Council, and a high-profile collaborative leadership team.

Food is one of the most basic human needs, but the issues around ensuring all people have access to healthy food quickly becomes complex. Kamloops has developed a unique approach to food policy and community food systems through the work of the Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC).

Children skateboarding to school; communities working together to remove barriers that keep members of some groups from being physically active; residents seamlessly transitioning between cycling, taking transit and walking; families strolling to local playgrounds and trails; new immigrants to the area being welcomed with free bike safety courses; bike repair stations scattered in handy spots along the regional trail network: all of these visions and more are part of People Power, an innovative new program from the Capital Regional District (CRD).

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