Neighbourhoods & Community
Neighbourhoods can play a key role in providing opportunities for children, youth and families to be physically active, access healthy foods, and to create an environment that promotes healthy living. In fact, research has tied health outcomes to the physical, social and service environments of a neighbourhood.
Using a community development approach, the Creating Healthy Active Neighbourhoods project seeks to empower and support residents to influence their environments in a way that promotes health and wellness. Residents are seen as the experts of their neighbourhoods. We work with residents to ensure grass-roots, sustainable growth towards healthier happy neighbourhoods and families.
Looking to make a difference in your neighbourhood? Check out our Healthy Neighbourhoods Toolkit and the NeighbourGood London Programs to get started.
HEALTHY NEIGHBOURHOODS TOOLKIT
We are currently developing a Healthy Neighbourhoods Toolkit to help support and compliment the great work already happening in neighbourhoods across our city. To learn more about your neighbourhood and to get started on making a difference, visit NeighbourGood London.
In 2008 the Healthy Eating, Healthy Physical Activity (HEHPA) Priority of London’s Child & Youth Network (CYN) identified the Neighbourhood Demonstration Project as part of their first Child and Youth Agenda. The goal was and still is to “create environments, neighbourhoods, and opportunities that promote and support daily physical activity and healthy eating for all children, youth, and families in London”. HEHPA uses a Community Development approach, which sees residents as the experts of their own lives and the agents of change.
Between 2008 and 2017, HEHPA worked in one priority neighbourhood at a time and concentrated their efforts over a 4 year period, allowing the completion of two Neighbourhood Demonstration Projects – Westminster Neighbourhood (2009 – 2013) and Medway Neighbourhood (2013- 2017).
Resident-led working groups were created in each neighbourhood to developed and implement action plans that would help move the needle on creating a healthy, active community.
Below is more information on the neighbourhood working groups and a sample of some of their projects. Starting in 2018, the Create Healthy Active Neighbourhoods project will be shifting from working in single neighbourhoods at a time to supporting existing resident-led initiatives across the city.
The Westminster Working Group (WWG) was part of the first Demonstration Project between 2009 and 2013. Our work was evaluated both before and after our 4-year intervention. Below are some of the most significant results from the follow-up surveys.
Westminster Working Group projects include:
- Southdale Farmers’ Market
- Increased neighbourhood breakfast programs
- Expansion of community pool
- Increased bike lanes
- Revitalization of soccer fields and baseball diamonds
- Community Signage
- Creation of a Walking School Bus
- Neighbourhood Signage
- Sports in the Park events
- … and much more!
The WWG is still thriving. To learn more and connect with the group, visit:
The Medway Working Group was part of our second Neighbourhood Demonstration Project between 2013 and 2017.
Some of their projects include:
- School Travel Planning and Walking School Bus
- Outdoor Neighbourhood Ice Rinks and Skate Bank
- Neighbourhood Walking Safety Audit
- Health Fair at Wilfrid Jury Public School
- Discover Northwest London Information Fair
- Support of the local Community Gardens
- Support of the University Heights Farmers’ Market
- Adopt-A-Park and Park Upgrades
- Park Parties and BBQ socials
- .. and much more!
For more information and to connect with the group, please visit:
Dr. Jason Gilliland and the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) at Western University conducted our Community Needs Assessment (CNA) for the 13+ Priority Neighbourhoods identified as areas of focus for London's Healthy Kids Community Challenge. These documents are available below.