We were thrilled to have nearly 200 folks join us either in-person or via livestream from across BC for Physical Activity for All: Tools and Approaches for Equity in Active Communities. Interested in the top takeaways from the event? We’ve put together a list of the night’s top #PAforAll highlights, as shared by folks on Twitter.
In the last half-century, the planner’s role and responsibilities have changed remarkably. Traditionally, planners worked to build and maintain the infrastructure of the public realm. In contrast, the issues that planners now grapple with are complex, interconnected and interdisciplinary—issues like population growth and shifts, social connectedness, housing and homelessness, equitable use of government resources, reconciliation, and accessibility. When we at BC Healthy Communities attended the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) conference earlier this year, this was brought into clear relief: the majority of the lectures, case studies and stories shared by planners at the conference described projects that interacted with gender, race, reconciliation, equity, and power. It’s an exciting time to be a planner, but at the same time, the responsibility to integrate all perspectives and dimensions of power and fairness into planning has never been greater.
The province recently introduced legislation to make housing needs reports (HNRs) mandatory for local governments. These reports, intended to better support planning for housing affordability, will be required every five years. The good news is that funding comes attached to this legislation—$5 million over 3 years. This funding presents a fantastic opportunity to communities to engage in an assessment that looks at more than just the numbers, instead prioritizing equity, health, diversity and engagement. Read on to learn more about what a traditional housing needs assessment entails, and how a health-focused assessment can make for a stronger, and ultimately more useful analysis.
Characteristics of the built environment in which community members live, work, play, and learn have an impact on mental health. Community design decisions made today can have lasting impacts on your community, creating elements that will influence mental health for years to come. In this article, we’ve presented four potential methods by which local governments can promote mental and social wellness when designing the built environment of their community.