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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Engaging Disenfranchised Groups in Urban Health

Conference Paper by Sherri Torjman

Sherri Torjman presented this paper at the International Conference on Urban Health held in Boston in October 2004. She addressed the issue of urban health and disenfranchised groups from the perspective of the Vibrant Communities project. Vibrant Communities is a pan-Canadian initiative involving 15 cities that seeks to engage low-income community residents to develop local situations to reduce poverty and improve quality of life.

As Torjman relates, Canada’s national poverty rate is 9.5 percent (2002 statistic). The poverty rate is significantly higher among Canada’s Aboriginal communities living on reserves and in urban centres. She states that poverty places a heavy burden in terms of its social, economic and personal costs. Vibrant Communities focuses on the contextual factors that influence health including level and source of income, the quality and affordability of housing, the density of social networks, and the ability to make a meaningful contribution to society.

Vibrant Communities seeks to improve health by reducing poverty. In her presentation, Torjman discusses the unique architecture of this project and how it involves people living in poverty in its governance, learning processes and policy dialogue. She concludes by stating that healthy communities seek ways to reduce exclusion and encourage meaningful engagement. Vibrant Communities aims to work with people to enhance their personal health and the health of their communities.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Sherri Torjman;
Publisher: Caledon Institute of Social Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty / 2004
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Inequality
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Inequality / 2004
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Consultation
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Consultation / 2004


Keywords / Tags:

urban health; disenfranchised groups; Vibrant Communities; low-income residents; poverty reduction; poverty rate; Aboriginal communities; affordable housing;