When we hear the word health, we automatically think of physical health or maybe psychological health.

We think: doctors, hospitals, dentists. We think working out, vitamins and medicines. But that’s a narrow definition of health and only begins to touch upon what contributes to our overall health.

When we think of healthy communities, we might reach for that narrow definition and think we’re talking about healthy living. But we’re not.

When we talk about a healthy downtown, we know what we mean. Are the storefronts empty or full? Do people live there? work there? make it a destination for shopping, eating, nightlife? Are people on the streets? Are they there at all times of day? On weekdays and weekends? Is it welcoming of a diversity of all types of people? Do we you feel comfortable there? Maybe even a sense of belonging.

So extrapolate that to a neighbourhood, a section of the city, the whole city or across the Waterloo Region, and that’s what I mean by building healthy communities.

Doing so benefits all of us. Doing so improves our overall health including a positive effect upon our physical health.

Here are resources relevant to healthy communities from a series of earlier posts.

Day 5 of the 12 Days for Good: HEALTH12 days 2013

Today’s the fifth day of the 12 Days for Good coordinated as a pay it forward campaign by the House of Friendship. On Twitter? Follow all the goodness by following #12daysforgood and contribute your own good deeds too!

Today’s theme is “Health” which is described as: to have the opportunity to maintains one’s health and well-being in a well-managed sustainable healthy community, where all are able to fully participate 

No wonder the event I attended last night as an engaged citizen attracted 3 of the Do Gooders leading the 12 Days campaign.

Smartening Up Growth in Waterloo Region

Building a health, sustainable community requires conscious decisions on how we grow and develop our urban and rural areas. Last night’s event shared information about why doing so is important and how we can work together to make it happen.

My official good deed for the day is creating this Storify version of last night’s forum.

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