Imagine Lethbridge-Healthy Lethbridge means healthy people in a healthy society on a healthy planet
The event is now over, and the work can begin!
Dozens of Lethbridge residents shared their ideas for what makes a healthy city at Imagine Lethbridge and still others have completed a short survey (you can too – go to: https://bit.ly/3z4izLC).
So, what’s next? The fun part, actually: making it happen, and staying the course. Based on the feedback gleaned, organizers are drawing up a Healthy Cities Roadmap to share when complete. In the meantime we can share that Lethbridge participants have outlined such things as: investing in youth and schools; ensuring the availability of quality housing; promoting cultural sensitivity; policy decisions that focus on health and well-being; neighbourhoods that are walkable; providing addiction services; supporting neighbourhood associations; normalizing permaculture and front-yard gardening; shopping locally - and so much more.
Dr. Trevor Hancock laid the groundwork on Day 1, setting out to provide the big picture, “and to look upstream at what’s happening and put it in a global context,” he said. “When we talk about the health of a population, it’s not that widely understood that it’s not much about health care.”
Where we live matters, he explained, and living in Canada means that we are 80-per-cent urban dwellers who spend 90-per-cent of their time indoors. “If you don’t believe that,” he said, “try keeping a time diary and see where you spend your time.”
Half of the remaining 10-per-cent of our time is spent in vehicles, and we actually only spend, on average in Canada, about an hour a day outdoors.
In 1986 Dr. Hancock co-created the Definition of a Healthy City for the World Health Organization and its Healthy Cities project. Today, the definition still holds an important place in the understanding of this work: “A healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments, and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing to their maximum potential.”
Most importantly, he said, a healthy city isn’t really a status but a process; one in which the city continually tries to be more healthy.
To hear Dr. Hancock’s entire presentation, visit: https://bit.ly/3auGwBD
Did you miss the forum but would still like a place at the table? Your input is needed and welcome! Take the short survey here: https://bit.ly/3z4izLC and bookmark this space for updates!
Next up: A look at the wisdom and experience brought to Day 2 by speaker Dr. Kim Raine. Dr. Raine led a five-year community-university-government partnership called Healthy Alberta Communities and currently co-leads the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention and Alberta’s Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth.
Dr. Trevor Hancock – Healthy people, healthy communities, a healthy planet