Online Program

Where are the suburbs in urban Active Design Guidelines?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Lawrence C. Loh, MD, MPH, CCFP, FRCPC, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dongsei Kim, Registered Architect, Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Introduction: A growing policy focus is on guidelines that encourage healthy lifestyles through environmental design. One archetypal example is New York City’s Active Design Guidelines (ADGs), with similar guidelines being published by other globally-leading conurbations, such as Toronto and Melbourne. These guidelines typically contain strategies for a diverse range of dense urban conditions that often do not seem relevant to suburban environments.

Methods: Active cross-disciplinary analysis and comparison of recently published active design guidelines in New York, Melbourne, and Toronto specifically evaluating their relevance and applicability to dominant suburban conditions.

Findings: Many of the factors discussed in ADGs centre around planning elements such as density, active transport, and tenure in an urban context, and largely omit the suburban perspective, despite the significant proportion of residents who live and work outside of urban cores. The lack of suburb-relevant guidelines makes it difficult to tailor improvements to address the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, arising from suburban lifestyles.

Conclusions: The gaps identified in our analysis provides a platform for further thought, discussion, and study around how partnerships between planning and health can develop, disseminate and implement effective policies focused on making suburban neighbourhoods healthier places to live, work and play.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify gaps in current focus of Active Design Guidelines (ADGs) with respect to different, specifically suburban, urban forms Compare differences in needs and solutions to creating healthy environments between dense urban cores and suburban neighbourhoods Design potential solutions to address these gaps in creating healthy urban planning policies for traditionally-built suburban sprawl

Keyword(s): Urban Health, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health physician with extensive research experience in urban health planning and policy, with research in active transport and chronic disease prevention and suburban sprawl and health.
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.