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Focus Areas: Health and the Built Environment

Regional Council Adopts Health and the Built Environment Policies

On February 23, 2017, Regional Council adopted Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 27. ROPA 27 includes policies related to health and the built environment, age-friendly planning, and technical and administrative updates.

Health and the Built Environment Policies

To strengthen the application of health-based criteria in the land-use planning process across the Region of Peel, the following policy directions were adopted by Regional Council:

  • Require regional and municipal planners to integrate the elements of the Healthy Development Framework (HDF) into relevant planning policies and guidance documents;
  • Require new development applicants to complete a health assessment as part of the development application process and that the results be reported to local council; and
  • Require health assessments for all Regionally or municipally owned and operated public facility project applications.

PathWorkshop and Consultation

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, Peel Public Health hosted a workshop with the Region of Peel’s Integrated Planning Division to obtain feedback on the draft proposed policies. The four presentations from the workshop can be viewed here:

View the workshop summary report (PDF, 1MB) to find out highlights of the day.

Draft policies were available for review as part of the Council Report on draft Regional Official Plan Amendment 27 for the July 7, 2016 Council Meeting. A public meeting was held on October 13th. Here is a link to the public meeting notice, the agenda with presentation, and minutes.

Background

Community health is significantly impacted by the built environment, which consists of transportation systems, land use patterns and urban design. Traditional suburban design comprises low density land uses and automobile-dependence.

This can lead to:

  • Poor health behaviours, primarily low levels of physical activity;
  • An increased risk of obesity; and
  • An increased burden on chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and respiratory disease.

The Region of Peel is staying ahead of the curve by focusing on built environments as a strategic health priority and by incorporating health and the built environment as a focus area of Peel 2041: Regional Official Plan Review. View the discussion paper (PDF, 1.2MB).

In 2009, Peel Public Health conducted a research review (PDF, 1.9MB) to establish an evidence base for creating healthy built environments in Peel. Since that time, the Healthy Development Framework (HDF) has been created to build on the research in order to create a planning tool to assess the health potential of the built form.

The HDF is a collection of local, context-specific tools that assess the health promoting potential neighbourhoods in Peel Region. The Region of Peel created the Healthy Development Assessment (HDA), which is a key component of the HDF to monitor and evaluate the development of healthy communities across the Region. Healthy communities are impacted by six interconnected core elements of the built environment. The HDA considers the following core elements:

  • Density
  • Service Proximity
  • Land Use Mix
  • Street Connectivity
  • Streetscape Characteristics
  • Efficient Parking

The Regional Healthy Development Assessment (PDF, 2.1MB) is available for review.

The evidence is clear, the built environment, and where you live affects your health. Through the current Regional Official Plan Review, policies will be developed and implemented to enhance and encourage regular use of the HDF and to improve the expansion of our built environment. This will result in healthier, more active communities for every resident in the Region of Peel.

  • For more information on the health and the built environment focus area, please contact Natalie Lapos (905)791-7800 x2048, or email the Region of Peel’s Integrated Planning Division



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