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Professor Stuart B. Hill


                   TWELVE SOCIAL ECOLOGY TESTING QUESTIONS FOR EVALUATING HEALTHY CITY INITIATIVES    
     




Professor Stuart B. Hill
Foundation Chair of Social Ecology 
Faculty of Social Inquiry
University of Western Sydney-Hawkesbury





 
Prior to planning Healthy City initiatives and at several stages throughout their implementation, to aid relevance and sustained effectiveness and efficiencies, it is helpful to consider a range of mutually supportive testing questions. 

The twelve questions that will be discussed (listed below) were designed to broaden considerations by including concerns in the personal, social and environmental domains. 

This social ecology approach (Hill 1999) acknowledges the complex interrelated nature of the processes involved in both the fostering of health (Williamson & Pearse 1980) and of sustainability and change. 

The idea of using testing questions grew out of their successful use by Holistic Resource Management practitioners to improve landscape, community and enterprise health in agriculture (Savory & Butterfield 1999).

                   Personal                       
1. Does it support: empowerment, awareness, creative visioning, values clarification, acquisition of essential literacies and competencies, responsibility wellbeing and health maintenance, vitality and spontaneity (building personal capital personal sustainability)?
2. Does it support: caring, loving, responsible, mutualistic, negentropic relationships with diverse others (valuing equity and social justice), other species, and place and planet (home and ecosystem maintenance)?
3. Does it support: positive total life-cycle personal development and change?
                   Social                       
4. Does it support: accessible, collaborative, responsible, creative, celebrational, life- promoting communitystructures and functions (building and maintaining social capital cultural [including economic] sustainability)?
5. Does it support: the valuing of functional high cultural diversity and mutualistic relationships?
6. Does it support: positive cultural development and co-evolutionary change?
                   Environmental                       
7. Does it support: effective ecosystems functioning (building and maintaining natural capital - ecological sustainability)?
8. Does it support: functional high biodiversity, and 
prioritised use and conservation of resources?
9. Does it support: positive ecosystem development and co-evolutionary change?
                   General                       
10. Does it support: proactive (vs reactive), design/redesign (vs efficiency and substitution) and small meaningful collaborativeinitiatives that together you can guarantee to carry through to completion (vs heroic, Olympic-scale, exclusive, high risk ones) and their public celebration at each stage - to facilitate contagion - thereby making wellbeing and health contagious? 
11. Does it focus on: key opportunities and windows for change (pre-existing change moments)?
12. Does it explain: how it will effectively monitor and evaluate its progress (broad, long-term, as well as specific and short-term) by identifying and using integrator indicatorsand by being attentive to all feedback and outcomes (and redesigning future actions and initiatives accordingly)?

 

Hill, S. B. 1999. Social ecology as future stories. Social Ecology Journal, 1: 197-208.
Savory, A. & J. Butterfield 1999. Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making (2nd edn.). Island Pr., Washington DC.
Williamson, G. S. & I.H. Pearse 1980. Science, Synthesis and Sanity. Scottish Academic Pr., Edinburgh




   
 
 

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