Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.Henry Ford
The Seven Circles -- Guiding Principles
The original seven circles concept was created by Dr. Trevor Hancock, who was instrumental in the creation of the international Healthy Cities/Communities movement. Dr. Hancock and D’Arcy Farlow facilitated a visioning workshop in Woolwich, which lead to the creation of Woolwich Healthy Communities (WHC) in 1991.
WHC embraced the health-environment-economy model as it shows the crucial links between health (or social wellbeing) and environmental and economic wellbeing. We adapted the content to reflect the determinants of health in our community and as a summary of our Guiding Principles (link to the principles). The intent is that the circles can serve as quick reference for reflection
when making decisions, to better ensure that the potential impact of the decision for the health and well-being of the community are considered. The WHC circles diagram (above) was presented to Council and senior staff of Woolwich Township who also participated in a group "Visioning" that included a practical application fostering productive dialogue amongst community leaders.
Woolwich Healthy Communities Guiding Principles
This group of questions should be used in making decisions. They are meant to be used together. Each question is equally important. They are not listed in any particular order.
Is this decision/plan likely to:
Build a Feeling of Community?
Create more opportunities for friendly interaction and neighbourly support among people in Woolwich Township? Support churches, service organizations, neighbourhood groups, cultural activities? Promote interaction among individuals living in the Township?
Give Voice and Choice?
Encourage all those affected, including people often left out, to participate in making decisions that affect them? Increase people’s capacity to choose what’s best for them?
Provide opportunities for people to pursue farming, either full-time or part-time and/or pursue other agriculture-related activities for pay or leisure? Increase the amount of food produced and available for purchase within the Township?
Support Local Business?
Increase the quality and quantity of products and services made available to Township residents by local businesses? Increase locally available employment opportunities that include fair wages and safe and healthy working conditions? Help bring sustainable business opportunities to Woolwich Township?
Treat Waste as a Resource?
Promote the 5 R’s by – Re-using local resources as much and as many times as possible? Reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and other waste disposal outlets? Recycling what cannot be reused? Replacing what has been taken (e.g. agricultural lands), so that the amount of local resources is not being diminished? Use waste products or waste treatment processes for Replenishing resources that have been damaged or degraded?
Improve Community Amenities?
Promote public transit, bicycle use and other non-car modes of transport? Make main streets, byways, trails and neighbourhoods safe, healthy and attractive ‘people places’? Provide good housing to people of all income levels? Ensure that people have good access to shops and stores where they can buy basic necessities?
Improve the Quality of the Environment?
Create a clean, green township? Improve soil, air and water quality in rivers, streams and wells? Preserve and maintain woodlands, wetlands, river edges, habitats and corridors for wildlife and wild plants? Encourage environmentally sound practices by businesses, industries and individuals?
Provide for People's Basic Needs?
Change people’s capacity to provide for their own basic living requirements? Give access to – adequate food, clothing and shelter, clean water, soil and air, educational opportunities, assistance with care for dependent or ill family members? Provide sources of productive, safe and satisfying work with an adequate income?
Honour the Past, Safeguard the Future?
Preserve and maintain cultural resources, including rural landscapes, wildlands, buildings and street scapes that connect people to their history and to local cultural heritage? Consider the needs and interests of future generations, so that quality of life and choice for our children’s children is assured?
Looking to explore how the decision-making diagram might be useful to your group?