This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.


It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.


It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Healthy Cities make for Livable Communities

As promised in the previous post, this post will drill down into one of the components of livable communities and better define is what is a Healthy City? Professor Jan Gehl spoke about Healthy Cities in his closing keynote "Cities for People" featured in the previous post.

While this blog is based in the San Gabriel Valley of California, it is committed to looking beyond that for inspiration. The World Health Organization provides a global setting for a Healthy City.

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 developing to their maximum potential.

In this aspect different parts of the world want the same thing, all of us want to live in a Healthy City. The question is how to bring that about for our own communities. There are a number of pathways available.

One resource available in our local area is Healthy City at www.healthycity.org an information + action resource that unites community voices, rigorous research and innovative technologies to solve the root causes of social inequity. The first of its kind in the country, our team consists of authorities in public policy, research, technology and data analysis. We provide actionable information such as data, maps, and service referrals through our easy-to-use online platform. Healthy City also partners directly with organizations to develop targeted strategies that fuel social change. Here is a link to a short video explanation of what Healthy City is about. A longer and more in depth webinar is available here HealthyCity Introductory Webinar (wiki page/heads up video starts up right away)

This blog will also be featuring other online resources for creating new community paradigms. Here is one on How to use Healthy City California from Cassidy Friedman on Vimeo which was designed to help San Franciscans see how Healthy City can be used to research trends in their community. Healthy City is also featured on the Economic Development in San Gabriel Valley + World Facebook page.

This still leaves the question as to how did HealthyCity.org come about? In this particular case it was not a governmental entity that created the HealthyCity initiative. The people behind it are the Advancement Project. A public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. More on them here - Who We Are | Advancement Project California. So it is possible to create something without government, though they should be made a partner if possible. All of these resources and more are being made available on the Healthy City wiki page under Livable Communities of the New Community Paradigms Wiki.

This post provides resources showing what is possible if you make use of web based tools to help you make your community healthy and in turn more livable.  It demonstrates how people have taken steps to implement these resources in their own community. It also though raises a number of issues. Where do you find programs to help with this effort? What other organizations are out there to help? What other issues are there to be concerned with besides economics discussed in the first post and health discussed in this one? Does local government have any programs for Health Cities? Most importantly, the question as to how to start on the path of creating a new community paradigm has not really been addressed.

The last question will take the most time for this blog, but the second to last, " Does local government have any programs for Health Cities?"  will be the topic of the next post.

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