Experiments with co-housing:

“It’s like up-cycling the neighborhood — connecting existing resources to make them work,” García explains. “For example, all this workforce that’s unemployed, all these empty spaces that are without use, all these elderly people that need help, all these natural resources that are not being taken care of — making a project for all these things.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2015/02/16/385528919/not-a-group-house-not-a-commune-europe-experiments-with-co-housing

Strengthening Local Voice – the real health inequality challenge?

We’ve mentioned Mark Gamsu before. He writes a wide-ranging blog on all things related to local democracy and health. His latest post raises some critical issues…
“So, system level organisations and agencies need to consider what they can be doing to strengthen citizen voice. This is where it gets really hard. A lot of the structures that operate at a system level are dominated (with the exception of local councillors) by professionals who speak on behalf of local citizens. By professionals I mean primarily managers from public sector bodies (mainly the NHS and Local Government) and the Voluntary and Community Sector. Of course they are well intentioned people – but they are constrained by their own organisation and services (they don’t usually have whole system view) and by their responsibilities for meeting their targets and contracts. This too often leads to relationships that operate within a paradigm that ignores conflicts brought on by competition and mistakes activity for systemic action.
Again, in Sheffield the Sheffield First Partnership has been trying to get to grips with this. They set up what was in effect a select committee process to seek to understand what good might look like with regard to community cohesion and voice; taking evidence from a range of witnesses – including voluntary sector organisations, the police, fire service and private sector. The outcome of this investigation is a “Fuzzy Framework” that seeks to provide a platform for a more self aware collaboration on this agenda across the city. It is very much a work in progress – but is a positive attempt to try to be more self conscious about this issue.”

Worth a read. The full article is here.
http://localdemocracyandhealth.com/2015/02/24/strengthening-local-voice-the-real-health-inequality-challenge/

https://www.sheffieldfirst.com/
https://localdemocracyandhealth.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/resilience-fuzzy-framework-final-draft.pdf