Envision a vibrant and sustainable city.
Imagine that this city is inhabited by people of all ages, ethnicities, gender identities, abilities, who are healthy regardless of their zip code or income level.
This picture of a thriving place with thriving people is a vision of reality for many forward-thinking leaders in Pittsburgh and around the world. Consumer Health Coalition is participating in partnerships to actualize this path to health equity, sustainability, and resilience with collaborators from Glasgow, Scotland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the acknowledgement of living in post-industrial contexts, we are preparing for the future of our cities and regions.
Learning Exchange Visits
We took part in a learning exchange visit of the Pittsburgh delegation to Glasgow. Building from that, a diverse team from Glasgow will visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday, September 5 through Saturday, September 8.
The visit will include an illustration of the emerging themes of the project and how we can collaborate, utilize and progress with these initiatives. We’re also developing informative webinars that will take place through this collaboration. If you have interest in connecting with this initiative, please contact the program manager Shannon Hughes.
Some of the major topic areas we’re exploring include:
1. The Future of Work
The role of health services and how they are intertwined with the revitalization of post-industrial cities. More specifically, the future of work implies the social and economic ramifications of moving towards an industry of automation. We can visibly see the future at work in our city of Pittsburgh, particularly with Uber’s driver-less cars. This collaborative is brainstorming how we can structurally address these advancements and their implications on communities and people within these communities. This aspect can be summed up with the probe, “We are post-industrial, but we are pre-what?”
2. The Models of Place-Making
This approach was introduced to the Pittsburgh team during their visit to Glasgow in March 2017. The ideas behind this approach intend to collaborate with communities to build upon the strengths of a community and the values of their “place” they prioritize. These values could include the importance of feeling safe, the accessibility of transport and social interaction, as well as a sense of identity and belonging in their place. The comprehensive approach encompasses a broad spectrum of community values and qualities which can be built upon to stimulate the resilience and sustainability existent in communities.
3. The Role of Health Services
This is an especially pertinent topic during these uncertain political times of health care accessibility. This realm of the project is diligent in investigating ways of how to infiltrate the achievement of health equity into all processes. The main question here is how we can build a health services infrastructure that is equitable for all.
Resilience, Sustainability, and Health Equity
Founded on a unified vision of integrating themes of resilience, sustainability and health equity, teams from both Pittsburgh and Glasgow have been exchanging ideas and experiences with each other to further these efforts. Representatives from the Consumer Health Coalition, the Allegheny County Health Department, Resilient Pittsburgh, Resilient Glasgow and the Glasgow Center for Population Health are engaging other experts from various fields to broaden the scope of the project and engage communities in a multi-sectoral way. The project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to discover methods of building sustainable and resilient communities in order to achieve health equity.
About the Author
Shannon Hughes, MPH, is the RWJ Project Manager at Consumer Health Coalition.