The strategy is guided by a vision of A Healthy City for All: a city where together we are creating and continually improving the conditions that enable all of us to enjoy the highest level of health and well-being possible.
Health is about much more than just physical health or treatment in the health care system; it is about the social determinants that shape well-being in a broader sense. The three focus areas below describe the holistic framework that informs the Healthy City Strategy. The Strategy is intended to engage all residents and all sectors of our community in taking action to build toward a Healthy City for All.
Our health and well-being begins with basic needs – clothing, shelter, food, transportation, and employment. We need ways to express ourselves, to be safe and included, supportive services, and to learn and grow.
Community connections build a healthy city – working together makes us resilient and sustainable, we enjoy better health when we connect with our neighbours and are engaged in our communities.
Ecologically, economically and socially sustainable environments directly impact our physical and mental health – the built environment, networks of movement, natural spaces, biodiversity, and freedom from pollution are key to building a healthy city.
Read updates on this project, and learn more about the progress. Select 'Show more' to keep reading.
February 21, 2016 – The Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Additions provided its final report to Vancouver City Council. Council approved a number of grants to respond to mental health and addictions needs, and to create an Urban Health Leaders Action Council integrating mental health and addictions efforts with the Healthy City for All Leadership Table.
February 21, 2016 – Vancouver City Council received an interim update on Healthy City trends and pressures and action taken to date. Council will receive a full report back late in 2017.
November 1, 2016 – Vancouver City Council approved a $1,000,000 Innovation Fund grant to St. Paul’s Foundation for a Mental Health Hub, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care and Vancouver Police Foundation. The hub will include new clinical care beds and a transitional care centre to provide support and referrals.
September 21, 2016 – Vancouver City Council received updates from Vancouver Coastal Health on the number of fentanyl deaths and overdoses, and measures being taken to increase first responder awareness and access to Naloxone.
September 21, 2016 – Vancouver City Council unanimously committed to a plan to implement a living wage policy for staff and contractors at the City of Vancouver, with a report back on certification process by July 2017.
September 21, 2016 – Vancouver City Council received an update from the Vancouver Immigration Partnership on the New Start strategy, identifying priority actions to enhance newcomers’ access to services; to strengthen intercultural and civic engagement; to build welcoming and inclusive workplaces; and to support governments and public institutions addressing needs.
September 21, 2016 – City Council received an update on school meals program provisions and granted an additional year of funding ($80,000) to Strathcona Community Centre Association’s community breakfast program.
September 16 2016 – The West End Sex Workers Memorial Committee, with support from the City of Vancouver, unveiled a memorial lamp post to honour the lives of sex workers in the West End who were adversely affected by municipal actions taken in the mid-1980s.
June 15, 2016 – Vancouver City Council received updates on the Healthy City Strategy and approved investments in projects related to nine Healthy City goals, including a mental health hub at St. Paul’s Hospital.
July 8, 2015 – Vancouver City Council approved the first four-year action plan for the Healthy City Strategy. The Action Plan sets out 19 high-priority actions for the City and partners to undertake from 2015 to 2018 to make progress on the goals of A Healthy City for All. Council also directed staff to report back on progress in 2017.
June 19, 2015 – The City of Vancouver won gold for the Healthy City Strategy from the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) as part of their 2015 Awards of Excellence in Planning.
October 29, 2014 – Vancouver City Council approved A Healthy City for All: Healthy City Strategy 2014-2025 – Phase 1. The first phase of the strategy sets out a vision, principles, long term goals, targets, and indicators. Staff will report back to Council with Phase 2, the first four-year action plan, in 2015.
July 22, 2014 – Ideas for creating a Healthy City for All will be discussed on City TV Breakfast Television July 23, 24 and 25. Tune in, learn about the goals, and share your ideas. Our ideas forum has reopened until August 2.
The Talk Healthy City for All forum is now closed.
June 6, 2014 – Hundreds of ideas have been shared since we launched Talk Healthy City for All on April 24. Nine first-round winners were sent to the Social Innovation Exchange Ideas Festival and the THNK Creative Leadership Workshop on May 30.
Share your ideas by June 30 and you could win:
Vote, comment, and add your ideas to help us reach our Healthy City for All targets.
May 14, 2014 – Staff presented an update on Talk Healthy City for All, the public engagement on the Healthy City Strategy where you can share bold and innovative ideas for reaching the Healthy City Strategy targets by 2025.
May 13, 2014 – Host your own conversation with friends, neighbours, or coworkers! Our do-it-yourself kits have all the materials you need to develop bold and innovative ideas for reaching our Healthy City for All targets. Contact us at email@example.com or 604-873-7487 to request a kit.
May 9, 2014 – Since launching Talk Healthy City for All on April 24, we've held several #HealthyCity4All Twitter chats to get people thinking about goal areas of the Healthy City Strategy. Read the discussions on Storify, below.
April 29, 2014 – Join us for an inspirational morning of knowledge sharing and dialogue on planning and designing our communities for greater health and well-being.
April 24, 2014 – How can we make Vancouver a place where all people are thriving? We need your bold ideas and actions to make this a reality! Vote, comment, and add your ideas to help us reach our Healthy City for All targets.
The Talk Healthy City for All forum is now closed.
Share your ideas, and you could win a chance to discuss your idea at the Social Innovation Exchange Ideas Festival on May 30, or learn the skills to turn your idea into action with a scholarship to attend the THNK Creative Leadership workshop hosted by FUEL on May 30!
April 23, 2014 – Healthy People Healthy Places will be taking place at a later date, likely in the first half of June. Stay tuned for a new date. A full refund will be available to delegates who cannot attend the new date.
March 31, 2014 – How can we create a healthy city of all?
Vancouverites will soon be asked for innovative ideas for reaching our Healthy City for All 2025 targets. Check out the draft goals and targets, and sign up to be notified by email about online and in-person engagement opportunities coming this spring. Help us build a healthy city where everyone is thriving!
February 26, 2014 – With help from the SIA Reference Group, the Social Impact Assessment was prepared as part of the Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan Process to examine how future developments and land use changes could affect the low-income community in the area. The SIA identifies impacts before any development is implemented to help maximize the positive effects on a community while minimizing the negative.
February 21, 2014 – The City of Vancouver launched the inaugural Awards of Excellence, a new awards program recognizing outstanding civic achievements. Award categories include the Healthy City for All Award, which pays tribute to outstanding leadership by an individual or organization in working towards creating a healthier city.
February 19, 2014 – The City is supporting an initiative by the BC Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC to help Vancouver residents find a family doctor, and support patient-doctor relationships.
December 1, 2013 – Everyone knows we are what we eat, but our health and well-being are closely linked to where we live and what we do. The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health are key partners in an ongoing effort to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for Vancouver residents. Add your voice to the discussion by filling out the My Health My Community Survey. Your information will help shape future programs and community services that will benefit you, your family, and your community.
October 2, 2013 – Over 100 stakeholders took part in a Mayor’s Roundtable on Mental Health and Addictions at the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Mayor Gregor Robertson opened the Roundtable, which included service providers, front-line workers, academics, and people living with mental illness and addictions.
Speakers included Dr William Horner of the UBC Department of Psychiatry, and Dr Michelle Patterson of At Home/Chez Soi, a research project examining the role of housing and support services for people with severe mental illnesses.
Two people living with mental illness who have experienced homelessness also shared their experiences.
July 2013 – Staff updated Council on the development of the draft strategy framework. Further consultations and engagement on the draft strategy will take place over the fall of 2013, and the final strategy will be presented to Council in early 2014.
March 2013 – The City has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MOU) with our key partner, Vancouver Coastal Health, to develop a formal commitment to enhance our collaborative efforts in seven priority areas:
Watch for our first joint action, coming fall 2013.
September 2012 – The City is developing a draft Healthy City Strategy in consultation with key stakeholders. Sign up for news, events, ways to get involved and updates on the Healthy City Strategy.
August 2012 – The City of Vancouver is working with our key partner Vancouver Coastal Health to develop a formal commitment to enhance our collaborative efforts in seven priority areas:
June 22, 2012 – Healthy People, Healthy City 2012 brought together over 300 people from a broad range of sectors to participate in the launch of the development of a Healthy City Strategy for Vancouver. The summit featured presentations by local people representing programs involved in groundbreaking work in urban health and well-being including topics that highlighted:
Keynote speaker Andre Picard — award-winning public health reporter at The Globe and Mail and acclaimed public policy consultant — joined other leaders in health and social sustainability to outline ideas for what needs to happen to create a healthier Vancouver.
Read and download documents and fact sheets related to this project. Select 'Show more' to keep reading.
See the timeline for this project, where we have come from, and where we are going. Select 'Show more' to keep reading.
Read about the work leading up to this Healthy City Strategy. Select 'Show more' to get the details.
Historically, urban planning and public health came together to address the most pressing challenges of the new industrial cities of the 19th century, which were marked by overcrowding, unsanitary and inhumane conditions, and rampant disease.
Increasingly, urban planning and public health are re-connecting to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century city – such as growing income inequality, increasingly unaffordable housing, and significant mental health and addiction issues. These and other complex issues are bringing the need for holistic healthy city planning once again to the fore.
Where we live really matters, and the City of Vancouver has a long history of initiatives which have focused on enhancing the health and well-being of the people who live, work and play here.
A sustainable city is one that protects and enhances the immediate and long-term well-being of a city and its citizens, while providing the highest quality of life possible. Sustainability requires integrated decision-making that takes into account economic, ecological, and social impacts as a whole.
Planning health into our urban environment can do much to increase health and well-being for all citizens.
Urban planning and governance not only influences the air we breathe and the water we drink, but also our ability to get around, where and in what type of housing we live, what food we can most easily access, what kinds of jobs are available and how long it takes us to get to them, how much and what kind of green space we can play and rest in, and how safe, connected and included we feel in our neighbourhoods.
What we choose to do now will have a profound effect not only on the health of current populations but on generations to come.
According to the World Health Organization, for the first time in history, more people live in cities than rural areas – by 2030 over 60% of the world’s population will live in an urban setting, rising to 70% by 2050. Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy shows that in Canada, 90% of our population lives in cities, and in Vancouver that population is expected to grow by 23% to an estimated 740,000 by 2040.
What do we need to be healthy and well? Watch this 2 minute video to find out.
Healthy City Action Plan 2015 - 2018
See what we've got planned to help meet our goals.