For immediate release
ESQUIMALT, BC—The Township of Esquimalt and Island Health have partnered on a project looking at the effect of housing design on the social well-being of residents.
Earlier this year, the Township received a 2018 Community Wellness Strategy grant from PlanH to fund this work. PlanH supports the provincial government’s health promotion strategy and is implemented by BC Healthy Communities Society.
Through this project, the Township will be developing policies and guidelines for developers to encourage and promote the inclusion of spaces designed to foster social interaction in multi-family housing.
“Social well-being is an important component of overall health and well-being,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “Through our survey and other engagement activities, we're looking for input from residents on creating homes and neighbourhoods that enhance social connectedness, inclusion and trust between neighbours."
The project is in its second phase building on previous focus groups with residents and local experts. From now until July 31, an online survey is available to gather more information from residents and businesses. There will also be pop-up engagements opportunities in early summer. Results of the study will be presented in September.
The focus is on the social health of residents, aged 8-80, who live in multi-family residential dwellings in the "missing middle" of the housing spectrum. This kind of housing is multi-unit housing more compatible in scale with single-family homes then high rise buildings, and can include duplexes, townhouses and small apartment or condo buildings. The Township will work with a consultant, a Healthy Built Environment Specialist from Island Health, and staff from BC Healthy Communities to conduct a community engagement process.
More information and link to the survey at Esquimalt.ca/DesigningDensity
Bill Brown, Director of Development Services