We recently helped to create an online marketing plan for the BC Healthy Living Alliance, an organization that focuses on British Columbians' health. One of their goals is to encourage politicians and citizens to recognize how social determinants affect the health of individuals and communities as a whole. With the BC provincial election coming up, the BCHLA is encouraging British Columbians to Live Healthy, Vote Healthy: voting for a commitment to improve conditions that impact our health:
Neighbourhoods need certain things to be in place in order for residents to live healthy. In particular, we need safe streets to walk or bike on, parks to play in, affordable recreation, and local stores stocked with affordable veggies and fruits. Access to affordable housing, healthy food, a livable wage, education, early childhood education and recreational opportunities influence our physical and mental health as well as life expectancy.
One of the suggestions in our marketing plan was a "Blogger Walk". We thought it would be a fun way for the BCHLA to meet some of Vancouver's online influencers and to share information with them about how the neighbourhoods we live in affect our health. We were impressed with how they ran with the idea!
"The Politics of a Healthy Neighbourhood - A Media Walk" took place on April 28. The BCHLA and about 10 local bloggers met over coffee for a brief overview of factors that make a difference to the health of a neighborhood. Then we hit the street to see it all in action.
Rita Koutsodimos, Communications Manager of the BC Healthy Living Alliance led us through the quick guided jaunt of the Fairview area of Vancouver.
The walk was enlightening as there were many aspects of a neighbourhood--from green space to curb placement and opportunities for early childhood education--that we hadn't considered would influence health outcomes. Apparently, the bloggers were similarly inspired.
This fun little Google Map shows the route we followed.
Want to rate your neighbourhood? Check out this nifty rate-your-neighbourhood survey the BCHLA is running.