Online Program

Healthy toronto by design: The role of public health in shaping a healthy city

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Monica Campbell, PhD, Toronto Public Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Ronald Macfarlane, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Public Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Carol Mee, MEd, BScN, RN, Healthy Public Policy, Toronto Public Health, Toronto, ON, Canada

Context: Chronic diseases, obesity and sedentary lifestyles are the main health challenges facing today's cities. Toronto Public Health (TPH) is playing a leadership role in influencing the development of healthy public policies that integrate social, environmental and economic factors in building a healthier, more equitable and liveable city.

Approach: TPH has taken an integrative approach based on a Healthy Toronto By Design framework that involves collaborative work with diverse municipal departments, community and academic partners. The strategies used to embed a health lens in city planning and policy development include: leveraging the power of partnerships to address the complexity of health issues; building the evidence base on built environment and its impact on health; integrating civic engagement into public policy development process; and participating in policy development across governments and beyond the public health sector.

Results: TPH has developed a number of policy directions and tools, including improving active transportation infrastructure and creating guidelines for an Active City; making Toronto a more Walkable City; creating healthier apartment tower neighbourhoods through removal of zoning barriers; advocating for increased access to affordable housing; integrating health and equity considerations in Toronto's Official Plan for land development, using mapping tools to identify low income areas with food deserts, park-deficient neighbourhoods, and elevated risk from heat-related climate change impacts; and developing a built environment decision-making support tool.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe a range of strategies for collaboration in building healthy urban communities. List specific policies and tools that link the built environment with health in the City of Toronto. Discuss the impacts a municipal public health unit can have on the development and implementation of healthy public policy .

Keyword(s): Urban Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ronald Macfarlane has worked on improving the quality of Toronto's environment through advancing policy and research on air quality issues, toxic substances reduction, and creation of a healthier built environment. He has been instrumental in "Healthy Toronto by Design" a call to strengthen the Healthy Cities approach. His current work includes a review of principles to guide urban planning and design so that Toronto can become an "active city" for all.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.