Camden Healthy Communities Initiatives
In 2012, with support from the Campbell Soup Company, DVRPC started the process of developing Cultivating Camden: The City’s Food Economy Strategy. Staff conducted key stakeholder interviews, held Work Group and Advisory Committee meetings, researched current initiatives and resources, and proposed a range of recommendations to improve Camden City’s food system and food economy. This process led to the publication of Cultivating Camden: The City’s Food Economy Strategy, as well as the creation of many strong relationships and enduring partnerships across Camden. Since then, DVRPC has both deepened and broadened our healthy communities planning work in Camden. Staff have sought to understand what it means to be healthy in Camden, explored solutions to transportation gaps to healthy destinations, and are currently working with the City to promote health as a priority for Camden’s future growth and development.
As an Element of the City’s Master Plan, the Camden Health Element will provide a high-level vision and concrete strategies to promote health as a priority for Camden’s future growth and development. This project will convene stakeholders and engage the community to collaboratively develop a vision for a healthy Camden, identify areas of concern, and generate recommendations for improving public health through policy and planning-based tools.
DVRPC convened The Road to Health Workshop on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at the Rutgers University-Camden Campus Center. The workshop brought together local leaders in government, transportation, public health, open space, community development, and philanthropy to explore the intersection between transportation and health in Camden.
In the spring of 2017, DVRPC convened three Community Conversations in Camden where we invited residents and stakeholders to share their thoughts on what it means to live a healthy life and how transportation can help everyone reach important locations. We also connected with community members at two local festivals: Camden Night Gardens and Camden Jam.
Published in 2015, Cultivating Camden: The City’s Food Economy Strategy seeks to build off Camden's existing assets by identifying opportunities to increase food access and economic opportunities within the city. It analyzes the city's current food system and food economy, acknowledging the challenges that residents face in accessing healthy food. At the same time, it makes recommendations to grow food as an economic sector, increase opportunities for food entrepreneurs, engage Camden's institutions, and support organizations already working to increase access to healthy food, healthcare, and job opportunities.