Our communities have powerful and lasting effects on our health. Think about the neighborhood you call home. Are there enough sidewalks and bike lanes to ensure that you can get around safely? Is healthy food easy to access and affordable? Are there well-maintained parks and other open areas for you to spend time outside?
From our physical environments to our social environments, there are lots of opportunities to shape the places we live and, in turn, shape our health and the health of our neighbors. But sometimes boosting community health can seem like a tall order. Where would one begin?
That’s why we created our Healthy Neighborhoods Toolkit. We reached out to some experts in neighborhood health—ioby project leaders who worked with their neighbors and crowdfunded to bring projects to life that boost the culture of health in their communities—and got practical tips and tricks to help you get good done. The toolkit has in-depth video interviews with five project leaders to offer inspiration and tips, and links to a whole bunch of other resources to help you get started with your project. We also included a downloadable guide as part of the toolkit, chock full of practical steps to do things like needs assessments, getting community buy-in, building a coalition, mapping resources, and more. It’s a great place to start thinking about planning your own project.
Being healthy doesn’t always look the same for everyone, and not every healthy neighborhood looks the same. That means that every project will probably look a little different. That’s not just ok, it’s awesome! Think of this toolkit as a recipe with the basic ingredients for a successful project. Use it as a starting point, but then leave some ingredients out if they don’t make sense for your neighborhood, and add your own ingredients to fit your own unique public health project.
We hope this toolkit is helpful to you and your neighbors as you boost the culture of health in your community. And remember, we’re always here to help. If you’d like to crowdfund to raise the resources you need to bring your project to life we’d love to hear from you. Share your idea with us at ioby.org/idea and we’ll reach out to lend a helping hand.
See you around the neighborhood!