Mobilizing Local Authorities Around Public Health Priorities

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Large Analysis and Review of European Housing and Health Status (LARES) was conducted in Europe in 2002 to 2003 to study the relationship between citizens’ health and built environments. One of its objectives was to put public health priorities on the agenda of local decision-makers to implement solutions for the community. We adapted the LARES protocol as a pilot project in a small French-Canadian town in Quebec Province in 2012. The distinguishing feature of this project was the collaborative approach taken with local actors, especially the municipality, which was committed a priori to using survey data from an urban planning perspective. The project produced interesting results that were used to motivate actions concerning people living in bad sanitary conditions; to draft the urban plan including the development of parks, green spaces, and bicycle paths; and to allow the municipality to meet eligibility criteria for access to renovation programs. If a partnership with the local actors and their commitment to promote and realize the project were obtained at the beginning, then the survey could be replicated in other communities.

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