BRAMPTON, ON. (May 10, 2012) – A recent survey of residents of the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver Areas has revealed that many residents of the GTA, including Peel, would choose to live in more “walkable” communities if that choice was available to them.
More than 15 per cent of GTA residents surveyed who currently lived in neighbourhoods oriented to cars and driving said they would like to move to a more centrally located, walkable community. Over half (52.9 per cent) of GTA respondents said they would choose a neighbourhood with high walkability and close proximity to services over a community with low walkability and distant services, regardless of the type of the neighbourhood they currently lived in.
“There is clearly an unmet demand for more-walkable neighbourhoods in the GTA, including Peel.” said Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. “Where people live impacts their health. This survey suggests GTA residents would prefer to live in communities that support active lifestyles and healthy behaviours.”
Existing suburban designs have been linked to a wide range of health problems, including physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, asthma and respiratory disease.
The Residential Preferences Survey, which was conducted in 2011, asked residents of both the Greater Toronto and Great Vancouver Areas what type of neighbourhoods they would choose to live in if they had to move. Survey participants were asked to look at various types of neighbourhoods and make “trade-offs” based on eight major characteristics: level of walkability; proximity to shops/shopping; housing mix; house size and travel options; lot size and commuting distance; street types and travel options; access to public and private recreational spaces; and access to food retail types.
Peel Public Health will use the survey insights and future, similar work to ensure collaboration between policy makers, decision makers and private sector partners as they incorporate features into the built environment that support the health of current and future Peel residents. Visit HealthyPeelByDesign.ca for more information on Peel Public Health’s work in this area.
The Residential Preferences Survey was conducted as part of the Healthy Canada by Design project, a national collaborative project funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health are key partners in this collaboration. Other partners include the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, National Collaborating Centre for Public Health Policy, Canadian Institute of Planners, Fraser Health, Montreal Public Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority and Urban Public Health Network.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton, and the Town of Caledon.
For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit peelregion.ca.