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Active, Connected Communities are Healthy Communities


A healthy community is one where people feel connected. When people feel that they belong they may feel more inclined to participate in actions that help the community, such as volunteering, taking pride in the condition of their community and being engaged in the civic process.

A healthy community is also an active community. We don’t mean just bike lanes, but anything your community has done to help people get outside and be physically active together. Physical activity protects the body from physical disease, but when done, especially with others, it also protects the mind, and reduces loneliness, isolation, and alienation. Active communities are often happier places.

Does your municipality have a partnership or program that needs support? This month PlanH is announcing new grants for local governments focusing on active living and social connectedness.


Applications Open for Social Connectedness Grants


Apply for a Social Connectedness Grant through two streams of the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund.
Stream One – Cultivating Connections
Stream TwoResilient Streets Demonstration Communities

Informational webinar |  April 26, 2017  Find out more about the granting streams and important next steps in the application process. Webinar and fund details here.

This May: Active Communities Funding & Virtual Forum


Active Communities grants will be available for local governments and their partners in the Island Health and Interior Health regions working towards having a measurable impact on physical activity. The Call for Proposals and application materials will be released on May 10, 2017.  Sign up here for Active Communities grant notifications.

Move it! Exploring Active Communities Innovations: A Virtual Forum | May 17th, 2017: A full-day online forum to assist applicants from the Island Health and Interior Health regions to better understand the issue of physical activity and to inspire ideas for innovative projects. Register here.

PlanH Video: How Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope are Making Healthy Choices Easier for Kids


This PlanH short video showcases the amazing work being done in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope to ensure that all children have a chance to form healthy habits early in life. These three communities are using a community-based participatory approach and common consistent messaging for kids to make the healthy choice the easier choice around healthy eating and physical activity. Watch it here.

The Economic and Social Wellbeing Co-Benefits of Healthy Built Environments


Date: April 4th Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm PST 
BC Centre of Disease Control, Vancouver & online
Walkable neighbourhoods help build stronger, more economically viable places. Victoria Barr and Charito Gailling of the BC Centre of Disease Control will cover research on the correlations between aspects of the built environment and specific health outcomes. They will also share new research findings related to the co-benefits of social well-being and economics. Details here.

Bowen Island Plan to Reduce Reliance on Cars & Increase Active Transportation


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.

Whether that is how to improve the island’s aged network of windy roads, increase ridership on public transportation with hybrid Uber concepts, or prioritize a walkable downtown over increased parking, the ITMP will offer guidance. Read how Bowen’s local government developed innovative solutions for their rural context by collaborating with their engaged citizens, community groups, business leaders, and local health authority here.


Track Progress on Health and Climate Change

The Lancet Countdown is a research project creating indicators for tracking the population effects of a changing climate. The Countdown will create indicators for five major topic areas in order to understand how climate change is an opportunity for public health. Read more.



The Power & Science of Social Connection

In this video Emma Seppälä, Ph.D.associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University discusses the findings of research into the evidenced-based health benefits of happiness, social connection, and compassion. Watch it here.



Five Domains of Wellbeing 

Greater social support has been linked to a lower risk
for cancer recurrence, higher survival rates among heart
attack survivors and lower blood pressure. Read more about the health implications of social connectedness and why it is important in this fact sheet from the Full Frame Initiative here.


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