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Healthy Communities – what it is, why do it. Dr Trevor Hancock Public Health Consultant Ministry of Health September 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Healthy Communities – what it is, why do it. Dr Trevor Hancock Public Health Consultant Ministry of Health September 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Healthy Communities – what it is, why do it. Dr Trevor Hancock Public Health Consultant Ministry of Health September 2005

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3 Vancouver ~ Vancouver ~ June 19-23, 2006 World Urban Forum 3 Forum urbain mondial 3

4 United Nations United Nations Event Focus is to examine the impact of rapid urbanisation on communities and the challenges this presents for the future

5 What it is Healthy communities takes the concepts of population health promotion and puts them into practice in the homes, schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play.

6 Health promotion “The process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health” The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion WHO, 1986

7 The Determinants of Population Health biology and genetic endowment, the physical environment, living and working conditions, personal health practices and coping skills health services Advisory Committee on Population Health, 1997

8 Where we live We are 80% urbanised We spend 90% of our time indoors We live 100% of the time on the planet, within natural ecosystems So the built environment is the ‘natural habitat’ of Canadians... but we are still subject to global and bioregional changes in ecosystem health

9 Settings Homes, schools, workplaces, health care facilities, neighbourhoods, and cities are both Physical places and Social spaces

10 A healthy city... "... is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing to their maximum potential." Hancock and Duhl, 1986

11 Healthy Community model

12 Healthy Communities approach Community involvement The bedrock Political commitment Local government is a key player Intersectoral partnerships It takes a whole community... Healthy public policy Creates the conditions for health

13 Why should local governments do it? Because… they are where most Canadians live they are the closest level of government to people they are concerned with the quality of life of their citizens they influence many of the determinants of health

14 It is within their legislated purpose Community Charter Municipal purposes 7. The purposes of a municipality include.... (d) fostering the economic, social and environmental well-being of its community. Local Government Act Purposes of regional districts 2....the purposes of a regional district include.. (d) fostering the current and future economic, social and environmental well-being of its community.

15 Local government & the health of the nation "Many would be surprised to learn that the greatest contribution to the health of the nation over the past 150 years was made not by doctors or hospitals but by local government. Our lack of appreciation of the role of our cities in establishing the health of the nation is largely due to the fact that so little has been written about it..." Jessie Parfitt, 1987

16 Health as a factor in the growth of local government In a study of the development of municipal departments in Toronto since 1834, 16 of 36 city services (44%) were found to have health concerns as contributors to their establishment and growth; in 10 of the 16, health had a major impact on growth Severs, 1989

17 Local government departments and health Public works Fire and police Housing Roads/ transportation Parks and recreation Urban planning Infectious disease Injuries, safety Shelter, safety, indoor air Safety, air quality, physical activity Physical activity, air quality, nature, social Zoned land use, safety, social interaction

18 What’s in it for local governments? A healthier, happier and more productive population Increased social cohesion and social capital Improved environmental quality and sustainability An attractive location for investment

19 Contact Dr. Trevor Hancock Public Health Consultant Ministry of Health 1515 Blanshard St, 4th Floor Victoria BC V8W 3C8 Tel: Fax:


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