A healthy community is where people come together to make their community better for themselves, their families, their friends, their neighbors, and others. Healthy communities embrace these principles:
- A broad definition of “health” to include the full range of quality of life issues. Most of what creates health is lifestyle and behavior-related; other major factors are genetic endowment, as well as socio-economic, cultural, and physical environment.
- A broad definition of “community” that recognizes all aspects of society and addresses shared issues in the most fruitful ways possible.
- A shared vision reflecting the values of diverse community members.
- Quality of life for everyone by supporting basic emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
- Diverse citizen participation and ownership, where all people take active responsibility for themselves, their families, their property, and their community.
- Focus on “systems change” to improve how community services are delivered, how information is shared, how local government operates, and how business is conducted.
- Benchmark and measure progress and outcomes, to reveal whether residents areheading toward or away from their stated goals.
- Youth development, to recruit and engage youth as full partners in community-based efforts.