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Focus Areas: Health and the Built Environment

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).

PathWorkshop
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.

Background
In 2009, Peel Public Health collaborated with The Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital and McMaster University for the creation of the Healthy Development Index (HDI).  This index is a quantitative, evidence-based, evaluation tool that is used to assess the health impacts of development proposals and planning policy. Since that time, the Healthy Development Assessment (HDA) Framework has been created to build on the HDI research in order to create a planning tool to assess the health potential of the built form.

The HDA Framework considers six core elements when assessing a community's walkability.  These elements are:

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

To receive a copy of the HDA Framework, please contact Sandra Almeida (905) 791-7800 x2048.

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 HDI 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.

Have feedback or questions you would like to ask related to the Official Plan Review?

 



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