Monday, February 28, 2011

Community Health and Design

I have focused on urban design issues throughout my education and professional practice, and am pleased to see that over the past few years the importance of design in urban planning is being awoken in both the profession and general public.

As Professional Planners, elected officials, and citizens alike, we need to understand that all our policy decisions, our official plans, our development regulations, all influence design and result in a three-dimensional world of our own making.  The choices we make when crafting these goals and provisions will structure the design decisions that create our communities' built environments; the stages upon which lives are lived.  It is therefore important to choose wisely.

Last year I had the opportunity to assist communities in the region with their efforts to create healthy environments for their citizens by working with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to write Healthy Community Design: Policy Statements for Official Plans.  The areas of focus for this document were defined by the mandates of the Health Unit and provide readers with a series of suggested polices and implementation methods to guide both the short term and the long evolution of municipalities to a built form that supports community healthy.  

Healthy Communities Official Plan Policies

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