Help Create a Healthy Community... Embrace Ontario's Diversity

Healthy Communities and the Built EnvironmentHealthy Communities and the Built Environment

Between April 2007 and September 2009, OHCC led a project entitled "Healthy Communities and the Built Environment', whichexamined the links between health and the built environment and engaged communities in integrating health promotion, chronic disease prevention and community planning strategies to create healthier communities.

A need had been identified for greater understanding within the general public of the links between health, land-use planning/design and the environment. In our efforts to provide information and raise awareness of the health impacts of the built environment, we found few examples of relevant and local research and a fragmentation of the work of public health professionals, land-use planners, environment groups and community and business associations.

To optimize human health and prevent chronic diseases, we need healthy communities that:are:

  • safe, compact and walkable;
  • readily available options for active transportation;
  • efficient public transportation systems;
  • preservation of natural surroundings and wildlife;
  • easily accessible services;
  • social gathering areas; and
  • greenspaces that are easily accessible by foot, bicycle, wheelchair or buggy

 Several components were involved in the project:

  1. Literature Review
  2. Environmental Scan
  3. Indicators and Case Studies
  4. Community Workshops
  5. Regional Forums
  6. Publication
  7. Evaluation

To view the resources that were devloped as part of the project click here.

The following organizations collaborated on the Healthy Communities and the Built Environment Project:

OHCC continues to provide workshops, presentations and consultations relating to the built environment - contact us for more information at info[at]


This collaborative project, led by the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, was designed to

build awareness of the impacts of the built environment on human health and to engage

planners, developers, public health, environment groups and associations in working together to

develop strategies that will improve the design of their communities from a health perspective.

The project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and involved several

components, including a literature review, environmental scan, regional forums, community

workshops and facilitation services.

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