On Tuesday, 9 July 2019, researchers from NCCR LIVES, association representatives and employees of the City of Chavannes-près-Renens (Vaud) met with that municipality’s population to discuss the inhabitants’ needs. The objective was to develop activities that improved their social environment and quality of life while focusing on social connection.
The social environment and the possibility of being an active participant in community life are determining factors in a population’s mental and physical health. The “Cause Commune” project, conducted by the National centre of competence in research LIVES “Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspective” in collaboration with the City of Chavannes-près-Renens, aims to involve residents in the organisation of their town.
Targeting population groups
To ensure that community activities meet the population’s real needs, residents actively participate in their definition through focus groups facilitated by representatives of the Social Cohesion Department of the Commune of Chavannes-près-Renens. 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, four groups exchanged ideas and perspectives 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 introduced 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 inhabitants’ health. 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 based on information collected from the population
- Issue recommendations that may also be useful to other municipalities and cantons
More information on the "Cause commune" project is available on the City of Chavannes-près-Renens website.