On Tuesday 9 July 2019, researchers from the NCCR LIVES, representatives of associations and employees of the City of Chavannes-près-Renens (Vaud) met with the population of the same municipality to discuss the needs of the inhabitants. The objective is to develop activities that improve their social environment and quality of life, focusing on social connection.
Involve residents in the organization of their city. This is the core of the "Cause commune" project, which the LIVES National Centre of Competence in Research "Overcoming Vulnerability: Life-Course Perspectives" is carrying out in collaboration with the City of Chavannes-près-Renens. Indeed, while material security is essential to guarantee a good quality of life, the social environment and the possibility of being an actor of this common space is a determining factor in the mental and physical health of the population.
Targeting population groups
In order to ensure that community activities meet the real needs of the population, residents actively participate in their definition through focus groups facilitated by representatives of the Social Cohesion Department of the Commune of Chavannes. These meetings are organised by district with local actors (associations, representatives of the authorities, police, etc.). During the first forum, held at the Collège de la Planta, five groups were able to exchange ideas and points of view on activities that could be carried out, as well as on the method used:
- children (0-10 years old)
- young people (11-24 years old)
- seniors (55+)
Many ideas were brought forward and discussed, such as waste management and the creation of a friendly sports centre. The forum was also an opportunity to present the Cause commune approach and the research projects that support it.
The "Cause commune" project in brief
This intervention and research, co-financed by the Etat de Vaud and the Fondation Leenaards, aims to test the impact of the social environment on the health of the inhabitants. Conducted over four years, it will include three phases:
- establish a diagnosis, in close collaboration with the municipal authorities and the population.
- develop new activities on the basis of information collected from the population.
- issue recommendations, which may also be useful to other municipalities and cantons.
More information on the "Cause commune" project is available on the City of Chavannes website.