The choices people make are supported by the choices that they have.

There are two broad ways to improve peoples’ health and wellness. The most common is by encouraging individuals to change certain health habits such as eating a healthy diet, becoming active and eliminating tobacco use, among other ‘health behaviours’. The second is by creating environments that support making the healthier choice the easier choice. The Healthy Communities Approach focuses more on this second category.
The core values of the Healthy Communities Approach are capacity building and empowerment of individuals, organizations and communities.

The Healthy Communities Approach originated in Canada in the late 1980’s and is being used in cities, towns and communities all over the world. “Healthy Community initiatives are based on the social determinants of health, which encompass key aspects of people’s living and working circumstances that affect peoples’ health and well-being. It employs an active and vibrant process that integrates the principles of health promotion and community development

Healthy communities have a multitude of characteristics. How many features apply where you live?


Looking for ways to improve the health of your own community?

Learn about the approach
  1. Rehm et al., as cited in Eastern Health, 2012
  3. BC Healthy Communities
  4. Nutbeam 1986
  5. World Health Organization, 1988
  6. Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (2010) Healthy Communities’: A Backgrounder.
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