Journal Article

Participatory research to enhance vision sharing for Healthy Town initiatives in Japan

Takehito Takano and Keiko Nakamura

in Health Promotion International

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 299-307
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dah301
Participatory research to enhance vision sharing for Healthy Town initiatives in Japan

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This paper presents the results of a participatory research project conducted by the Tokyo Citizens' Council for Health Promotion (Citizens' Council) to enhance vision sharing, thereby aiding the implementation of Healthy Town initiatives. The Citizens' Council conducted a survey to elucidate citizen interests and expectations regarding Healthy Towns. The project had three stages: (i) a survey; (ii) dissemination of the results; and (iii) evaluation of the impact of the survey's findings. The survey was conducted among ordinary citizens, community group members, health promotion practitioners and members of the Citizens' Council. Responses from 476 ordinary citizens, 400 community group members, 316 health promotion practitioners and 387 members of the Citizens' Council were received and analyzed. Major criteria that respondents required of a Healthy Town were: adequate sports facilities and walking/jogging trails (44.5%); easy access for senior citizens, small children and people with disabilities (42.2%); and parks, clean rivers and other natural features (33.1%). Prioritized criteria given by specific respondent groups were (i) a town with little crime and few traffic accidents (ordinary citizens: 37.2%) and (ii) a town where people help each other (health promotion practitioners: 36.7%; members of the Citizens' Council: 31.5%). Factor analysis revealed that the structure of citizen views on criteria for a Healthy Town had the following three dimensions: (i) health conducive physical living environment; (ii) social networks and mutual help; and (iii) societal discipline/rules and good access to services. The research results were disseminated to the general public, community groups and members of the Citizens' Council. The results substantiated citizen views, which were then incorporated into plans towards realizing Healthy Towns initiatives. This research effort generated a vision of the creation of Healthy Towns by the participation of citizens in a megacity.

Keywords: community participation; evaluation; Healthy Cities; participatory research

Journal Article.  4155 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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