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Healthy City Strategy: our goals

A long-term, integrated plan for healthier people, healthier places, and a healthier planet.

The Healthy City Strategy is comprised of 13 long-term goals for the well-being of the City and its people, including ambitious targets to reach by 2025.

The first Healthy City Strategy Action Plan adds 19 actions to implement by 2018. Learn more about the goals, targets, how we measure change, and find out how you can become a part of a Healthy Vancouver.

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A good start

children considered developmentally ready for school at kindergarten in 2016

Our experiences as children and youth affect our development and health throughout life. Investment in all aspects of child development, including quality childcare and early learning, is an investment in the sustainability of the city.

Our goal: Vancouver's children have the best chance of enjoying a healthy childhood.
Our target: 85% of Vancouver’s children are developmentally ready for school when they enter kindergarten

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A home for everyone

Total sheltered and street homeless persons counted in the 2016 homeless count

Having a place to call home gives us a sense of security, control, belonging, identity, and privacy. There has been some progress toward affordable housing targets, though more work remains. Vancouver is less affordable than other cities, and rental vacancy rates are lower.

Our goal: A range of affordable housing choices is available for all Vancouverites
Our targets: End street homelessness, enable 2,900 new supportive housing units, and add 5,000 new social housing units

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Feeding ourselves well

increase in the of neighbourhood food assets in Vancouver since 2010

The City works with community organizations to create sustainable and just food systems. In partnership with the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the City created and adopted the Vancouver Food Strategy in 2013. The Strategy addresses a number of gaps and vulnerabilities in the food system.

Our goal: A healthy, just, and sustainable food system
Our target: Increase citywide and neighbourhood food assets by a minimum of 50% by 2020

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Healthy human services

Estimated residents within 15 minute walk of library, community centre, and neighbourhood house

Connecting to care can be a critical first step on the long road to greater mental and physical health and well-being. The Healthy City Strategy promotes an integrated approach to human services. We want to ensure that all Vancouverites have access to the services they need to thrive.

Our goal: Equitable access to high-quality social, community, and health services
Our target: A family doctor for every Vancouver resident, and increase number of citizens who report having access to services when they need them by 25%

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Making ends meet and working well

Living wage in Metro Vancouver

Income is a strong determinant of health and well-being. While Vancouver is a growing, thriving city, we also have high poverty rates, and many people struggle to make ends meet.

Our goal: Adequate income and access to a broad range of healthy employment opportunities
Our target: Reduce the city’s poverty rate by 75%, and an increase the median income by at least 3% every year

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Being and feeling safe and included

Vancouverites who feel a strong or somewhat strong sense of belonging

Feeling safe and a sense of inclusion in our communities is essential to our well-being.

A strong sense of belonging is associated with better self-reported physical and mental health, while social exclusion denies us the opportunity for full economic and social participation in society.

Our goal: A safe city in which residents feel secure
Our targets: Increase residents’ sense of belonging and safety by 10%, and make Vancouver the safest major city in Canada

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Cultivating connections

increase in voter turnout since 2008

In addition to our personal relationships and social networks, the opportunity to participate in civic life is a core human need.

Our goal: Vancouverites are connected and engaged in the places and spaces that matter to us
Our targets: All Vancouverites have 4 people in their network that they can rely on, and increase municipal voter turnout to at least 60%

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Active living and getting outside

of adults exercise for at least 150 minutes each week

Staying active and having access to outdoor spaces is a big part of our health as citizens and communities.

Our goal: All Vancouverites are engaged in active living and have incomparable access to nature
Our target: All Vancouver residents live within a five minute walk of a park, and increase the rate of people meeting Canadian physical activity guidelines by 25%

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Lifelong learning

number of public library branches in Vancouver

Lifelong learning is a key building block in promoting personal, social and societal well‑being. Including learning in the Healthy City framework ensures that non-formal and informal learning opportunities is a valued contributor to the overall health, prosperity, and resilience of Vancouverites.

Our goal: Access to lifelong learning and development opportunities
Our target: Increase participation in lifelong learning by 25% over 2014 levels

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Expressing ourselves

creative places and spaces identified on Vancouver’s Cultural Spaces Map

Participation in arts and culture is critical to building a vibrant, livable and healthy city.

Our target: Increase public participation and community engagement in arts and culture by 25%
Our goal: Vancouver has a diverse and thriving cultural ecology that enriches the lives of residents and visitors

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Getting around

decrease in the distance driven per person since 2007

Active transportation allows people to make exercise part of their daily routine.

Our goal: Safe, active, and accessible ways of getting around
Our target: Make over 50% of trips by foot, bicycle, and public transit

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Environments to thrive in

residents live in neighbourhoods with a Walk Score of 70 or higher

Healthy urban environments are characterized by complete, compact, and connected communities - including well-planned, sustainable, thriving, and vibrant environments.

Our goal: Vancouverites have the right to a healthy environment and equitable access to livable environments in which they can thrive
Our target: Add a biodiversity target and a target related to toxins prevention to the Greenest City Action Plan, and increase neighbourhood Walk Scores

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Collaborative leadership

actions to be implemented

Health and well-being are everyone's business, and must involve the broader public, private and civil sectors. Ongoing engagement of all residents, including meaningful involvement of those most affected, is also needed.

Our goal: Leaders from the public, private, and civil sectors in Vancouver work in integrated and collaborative ways towards the vision of a healthy Vancouver for all
Our target: 90% of “actions for alI” to be developed in Phase 2 will be implemented

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Action Plan 2015 - 2018

with 19 corresponding actions

Learn more about the Healthy City Strategy, our next steps, and how you can help. After reading this document, you will understand:

  • Our 13 Healthy City goals
  • The 19 planned actions to help achieve those goals
  • Our 21 targets to help measure our progress
See what we've got planned to help meet our goals.


A good startA home for everyoneFeeding ourselves wellHealthy human servicesMaking ends meet and working well Being and feeling safe and includedCultivating connectionsActive living and getting outsideLifelong learningExpressing ourselvesGetting aroundEnvironments to thrive inCollaborative leadershipStrategy backgroundWatch the videoSuccess stories