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revised January 13, 2009

Comprehensive Health Status Report 2008

Arrow BulletThe Health of Cities

Car and pumpThe environment in which people live is an important determinant of health.  Across Canada the impact of the built environment is being increasingly recognized.  Virtually every element of a community – including its roads, streets, sidewalks, parking lots, transit, stores, libraries, parks, trails, workplaces, schools, and homes contribute to its urban form.  Opportunities for exercise and recreation; access to healthy food; the quality of water, soil and air; availability of jobs; and the existence of social networks are all aspects of the environment that can have an impact on health.

Topics covered within this chapter include:

  • Sprawl and physical inactivity
  • Transportation
  • Social capital, sprawl and mental health
  • The urban heat island effect

The Health of Cities (PDF 10 pages, 1.64MB)


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