4 Ways to Create Healthy & Sustainable Communities


How healthy is your community? A flourishing community works to improve the quality of life for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Every community is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, the following strategies will almost always help you make your community healthier and more sustainable.

1. Offer Comprehensive Psychological Support Services

A healthy community offers plenty of opportunities for people to improve their lives. Services like counseling, access to psychiatric care, and support for those with autism and developmental disabilities are essential.

For many, these services are difficult to afford. To truly work toward a healthier community, it’s important to make psychological support accessible even to those with lower incomes.

Of course, community investment is essential for these services to be effective. Cyrus Nikou, founder of Atar Capital, recently oversaw the acquisition of PAIS (Psychological Assessment & Intervention Services).

Thanks to this investment, more counties in West Virginia will have access to substance use treatment, counseling services, case management, supportive employment, and more.

2. Support Basic Needs Like Food and Shelter

Every person should have access to food and shelter. But due to various types of hardships, these things can be difficult to afford for some. Ensuring that community members have adequate food and shelter improves both the current and future health of the community.

Research conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the emotional well-being of children and caregivers increased when caregivers were able to provide for basic needs. The research also showed that meeting children’s basic needs promoted healthier growth and development. 

Whether making affordable housing available, maintaining a well-stocked food bank, ensuring access to healthy food, or all of the above, efforts to help people meet their basic needs will help make a community more sustainable.

3. Build Venues that Foster Social Interaction

In today’s digital world, it’s all too easy for people to become isolated. This critical social health concern is even more prevalent in low-density, rural communities.

When your community creates spaces for social gatherings, people from all walks of life can meet and form connections. Examples of communal meeting places include:

  • Public buildings like monuments, museums, libraries, theaters, etc.
  • Public markets
  • Greenways and other pedestrian paths
  • Parks and playgrounds
  • Public transportation
  • College and university campuses

These meeting places often require an initial community investment to build. However, they pay for themselves by improving community morale, interconnectedness, and social health. 

4. Support Your Community’s Ecological Health

Maintaining your community’s ecological integrity is also essential for overall community health. Taking steps to reduce pollution and conserve natural ecosystems is a great place to start. After all, every person in your community should have access to non-polluted air and water.

To reduce pollution, for example, your community might regulate toxic waste disposal. To conserve natural ecosystems, you might create local parks that protect wildlife habitats. Taking steps to promote recycling and reuse of waste materials can also lessen your community’s impact on the environment.

Healthier Communities Are Within Reach

Creating a healthy, sustainable community requires a multifaceted approach. To truly support health, it’s necessary to create initiatives to promote physical, mental, economic, and ecological stability.

When multiple sectors collaborate to make a change, your community will be well on its way to better health for all.