Summer School 2017: Planetary Health – Healthy Built Environments

Facing a Changing World:

Transformative Leadership and Practice


Summer School 2017



The Public Health Association of BC’s 8th annual summer school is only a few days away. During the two day course we will show registrants, through four topic areas, how they can operationalize Transformative Leadership into practice and create innovative changes in the field of Public Health and beyond.

Over the next week we will be posting feature blogs of each topic session to give registrants and those who are on the fence an idea of what we will be talking about. We continue today with Planetary Health – Healthy Built Environments.

Registrations for summer school are open now and seats are limited! Click here to register!


Planetary Health – Healthy Built Environments


Did you know that high-income countries are 80 – 90% urbanized and that we spend 90% of our time indoors? The built environment is by far the most common environment for humans in the 21st century, so it should be health-enhancing. Simultaneously, we also spend 100% of our time living within the natural ecosystems which are ultimately determinants of our health. It’s not a long shot to say that both the built and natural environments are of vital concern. Yet in recent decades, we have not been doing the best job at creating healthy environments. It’s clear that we need to transform the way we live within and manage these environments in the 21st century. In the upcoming 2017 PHABC Summer School, Victoria Barr, Shannon Clarke and Trevor Hancock will be exploring three innovative BC-based approaches to managing the built environment in holistic ways that will create better health and greater ecological sustainability.


Spear-headed by Victoria Barr, the Plan H program recognizes that for maximum impact in our communities, strong partnerships between public health professionals and other sectors need to be made. The program supports the collective work of local governments, public health staff, and other community partners. Through sharing learning opportunities, resources and leading-edge practices for collaborative local action, Plan H supports local government engagement and partnerships across sectors for creating healthier communities. Victoria Barr, a Project Manager for BC Healthy communities, brings over 20 years of expertise as a population health planner, researcher, and healthy communities advocate. She will introduce the Plan H program, with a special emphasis on how the program might integrate an equity lens.


The field of Public health faces a major challenge. How can we measure progess towards health? How can we track our wellbeing outcomes to prove that a policy, program or service can and will keep someone healthy and well? While the answer isn’t always black and white, ample research has demonstrated that there are social determinants of health that impact our wellbeing. If we can measure social determinants, we should be able to track health successes, as well as the areas in need of greater collaborative action. Shannon Clarke is a Healthy Communities Planner at the Capital Regional District, is on the Board of Directors for the Public Health Association of BC and is the coordinator and chair of the Regional Outcomes Monitoring Collaborative of the Capital Region. Join Shannon as she speaks on the processes that the Regional Outcomes Monitoring (ROM) Collaborative undergo, and how as a multi-agency stakeholder group, the ROM Collaborative is engaging with community agencies to identify desired outcomes for social determinants of health.


Humans have now become a force of nature powerful enough to disrupt natural systems locally and globally. We live as if we have more than one planet, and now face the challenge of changing our ways to become environmentally sustainable. So the question remains, how do we reduce our ecological footprint by 70 – 80%, to the equivalent of one planet, while still maintaining good health and a high quality life? Dr. Trevor Hock, an internationally recognized health promotion consultant and an expert on healthy cities and communities explores this challenge by bringing together the concepts of Healthy Communities and Sustainable Communities, and people from different sectors to engage in a dialogue called Conversations for a One Planet Region. Leading this project since January, Dr. Trevor Hancock will be speaking on the issues, process and plans for next steps. Join him, and his thought-provoking discussions how to make the Victoria region a ‘One Planet’ region