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September eNews: Reader survey, new community well-being framework, and more!


New resource: 2018 Equity & Inclusion Lens Handbook

Image of the cover of the Equity and Inclusion Lens Handbook, featuring faces of diverse people

Equity is a core component of a healthy community. Using an equity lens when developing and implementing municipal planning, policy, and environmental design helps to ensure systemic barriers are removed or reduced, and better solutions are developed. Status of Women Canada and City of Ottawa partnered to produce the 2018 Equity and Inclusion Lens Handbook, a comprehensive guide that helps municipal staff and managers examine their planning, program development and delivery activities to ensure they are inclusive of the full diversity of residents. Browse the guidebook.


On PlanH.ca: Stories of healthy community success across BC

Laptop with the PlanH Community Stories page displayed.

Sometimes, it's easier to learn by example than by concept alone. Each year, the PlanH team selects a handful of success stories from its grant projects and shares them with the PlanH network, so we can learn from their ideas, challenges and innovations. Our Community Stories page includes an interactive map and dropdown search options so you can easily find stories of communities with similar assets and challenges to those in your own community. Our recent favourites include North Cowichan's work in social connectedness and cultural learning, and Vernon's approach to becoming a child and youth-friendly city.


Mountain bike program empowers youth, builds community

Screencap of Patrick Lucas speaking outside. From the short film Allies, about Lucas and Thomas Schoen's Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike program.

Over the past half-decade, Patrick Lucas and Thomas Schoen have partnered with dozens of Indigenous communities in BC. Their goal is to get youth outside and involved in their communities by building mountain biking infrastructure and then using it. The project aims to reconnect youth with the land and encourage physical activity, but the pair has also learned some powerful lessons about reconciliation along the way. Lucas and Schoen's experience and reflections are captured in the short film AlliesView the film and learn more about the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program.

Community well-being: A framework for the design professions

Image of the 5 dimensions of community well-being and the 18 indicators.

How do planners, architects, and engineers quantify the impact of their design projects on communities? The Conference Board of Canada and DIALOG Design have released a framework that measures how design impacts community well-being. The group broke down five 'domains' of community well-being into 18 indicators—everything from mobility and integration to local economy—that provide hints as to the health of each of those domains.

"Our goal is to break [a project] down into manageable conversations,” said Gomez-Palacio in a recent interview. “It’s a methodology that allows us to come into any setting and host an informed conversation about meaningfully improving community well-being."

Download the 200-page Framework at the Conference Board of Canada's website (login/registration required).


Defining safety and inclusivity for public health

An over-the-shoulder view of a crowd as a presenter stands in front of them with a laptop.

One of our favourite events this summer was the Public Health Association of BC's Summer School, a two-day event bringing together public health researchers and practitioners to explore a particular focus area. This year's theme was Building Safe and Inclusive Communities, and with presentations ranging from cultural safety to the importance of risky play, the event did not disappoint. 

BC Healthy Communities' Community Facilitator, Shannon Clarke, attended the conference. Hear her highlights from the event and her top takeaways for public health practice moving forward.


We want to hear from you! Take our reader survey

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We hope you love hearing from us. Now, it's your turn. This month we're asking our readers to help us make the PlanH eNews even better by filling out our brief reader survey. Your input is vital in helping us make the content of this eNews as useful as possible. The survey will take approximately 3 minutes to complete. We need to hear your opinion. Take the survey now.

A man writes on a posterboard at a Vancouver public consultation event while a city staffer looks on.


Want to build better communities? Listen to them. That's the thesis of Morgan Vespa and Natalie Geddes, two members of the City of Winnipeg's Public Engagement department. Check out their webinar, courtesy of the Canadian Institute of Planners.


Cities Fit for Children logo: Two children play next to buildings and trees.


Local governments: looking for a way to demonstrate your community's commitment to children and youth? Be the next municipality to host Cities Fit for Children, a biennial summit that connects leaders in child and youth-friendly planning, policies, and partnerships across the province. Applications now open—find out more.

Children sit on grass and read a book together. Image from the cover of the NCCDH's 2013 report, guide to community engagement frameworks for action on the social determinants of health and health equity.



Community engagement and participatory practice are core principles for health promotion. Join the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health and Health Promotion Canada on September 20 as they host a webinar that explores participatory health promotion practice as an approach to action on health equity.


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