According to the 2011 census, seniors (65+ years of age) compose about 15% of British Columbia’s population, and children and youth (0-17 years) compose 19% of the province’s population. Children, youth, and seniors form an important part of every community. They also have unique needs around leisure, accessibility, and health that local governments need to consider.
An inclusive community values all its members and helps them to meet their basic needs so that they can live with dignity, engage actively, and contribute to their community.i Municipalities can support inclusive communities in three important areas:
A socially connected community is a place where everyone feels like they belong. It’s a place where people know their neighbours and feel motivated to get involved, build relationships, and contribute to the creation of strong social networks. It’s a place where spaces exist for people to gather with friends and neighbours. And, it’s a place where all planning and strategic initiatives take social connectedness into account.
British Columbia is a diverse province with many different people from different countries. This diversity brings with it the need to create welcoming communities.