Safer Calgary Mandate
The Safer Calgary coalition is a broad alliance of individuals and groups representing a common interest of decreasing the potential for preventable harm and death in the city of Calgary.
We do this by:
- Gaining and maintaining a comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to or prevent harm and death. This understanding will be supported by careful measurement and monitoring of key processes and outcomes with regular reports of this evolving understanding being offered to the community at large.
- Recommending, initiating and reporting on coordinated activities that target gaps and opportunities uncovered in the evolving understanding of preventing harm in Calgary.
- Mobilizing institutions, organizations, local communities, neighbourhoods and individual families and citizens.
- Using expertise and understanding to build community and institutional capacity so that they are more resilient and more able to assist in the development of individual resilience.
- Ensuring the diverse array of individuals in our community are able to access the knowledge and skills to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.
- Importing effective initiatives, knowledge and experience from outside the Calgary community for delivery in our city.
- Contributing to a safe global community by leading and participating in activities rooted in the national and international community.
Safer Calgary will always know:
- Where Calgary stands
- Where Calgary needs to go
- How to find the path to get there
Safer Calgary is concerned with upholding Calgary’s commitment to the safety and health of its own people and its place in the global community.
WHO Collaborating Centre Safe Community Indicators
These are the standards that the WHO uses to evaluate communities so that they can maintain their Safe Community status. More detail is here: http://www.phs.ki.se/csp/
Safer Calgary works to ensure that these indicators are met within the coalition of groups operating in Calgary. It is necessary to maintain the Global Safe Community designation.
An infrastructure based on partnership and collaborations, governed by a cross- sectional group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community
Long-term, sustainable programs covering both genders and all ages, environments, and situations
Programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups
Programs that are based on the available evidence (WHO Fact sheets)
Programs that document the frequency and causes of injuries
Evaluation measures to assess their programs, processes and the effects of change
Ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks
Safer Calgary is not a new organization. Actually, some of the priorities for the organization have been informally carried out at the meeting table for years.
In partnership with the Calgary Injury Prevention Coalition, a series of public consultations were held in the spring and early summer of 1999 and in early 2000. These consultations provided early support and general direction for the concept that would become Safer Calgary. A collaborative team of The City of Calgary staff, community organizations and citizens further developed the idea in May 2001. This work culminated in a report to City Council containing proposals for a structure and terms of reference. With Council’s approval of the report, the Planning committee proceeded with the formal creation of Safer Calgary, co-chaired by a member of City Council and community member. The first official meeting was held on April 18, 2001.
There has been a regularly shifting membership that originally worked to secure Calgary’s designation as a Safe Community (in 2003) through the World Health Organization (WHO). Calgary was the first major city in Canada to achieve this distinction. The WHO program is growing around the world with certifying centres being organized to oversee the appropriate designation of new communities and the maintenance of existing designations in places like Calgary.
In 2004, a Community Safety Perception Survey was carried out in Calgary on behalf of Safer Calgary.
In 2010, Safer Calgary turned the focus towards road safety and streetscapes because this continues to be the leading cause of preventable harm. This has culminated in the successful Safe and Smooth initiative that features a partnership with the NHTV Applied Sciences University in the Netherlands.
Safer Calgary became a project of Sustainable Calgary in 2014. This allowed the organizations to blend their shared strategic interests and activities. The Active Neighbourhoods project has become a signature collaboration as it fits together with the Safe and Smooth initiative.
All or almost all of the work in Safer Calgary is done on a volunteer basis and the organization has received project funding from corporations and granting institutions and is currently working with a grant from The Calgary Foundation.