News / Vancouver

Vancouver outlines plan to become healthier city

The City of Vancouver is working on ways to make residents healthier – and no, that doesn’t mean it’s buying everyone a fitness centre pass.

“We are renowned for our physical activity, our recreation, we’re deemed the most walkable city in Canada and we are a diverse and vibrant population,” city director of social policy Mary Clare Zak told council on Wednesday.

But there is room for improvement, Zak said, as the city is also known for its deep poverty in the Downtown Eastside, unaffordability and loneliness.

She outlined 19 actions the city can take over a four-year period to promote the healthy city strategy, noting that 75 per cent of a person’s health is determined outside the health care system.

Quick starts include providing 1,300 daily breakfasts for schoolchildren to ensure children are ready to learn, implementing 23 recommendations from the mayor’s task force on mental health and addiction, and developing the Vancouver Summer of Learning program.

Long-term goals include getting more people to use active transportation, embracing the sharing economy and increasing residents’ sense of safety.

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