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Supporting Active, Healthy Community Design in [name of place] [date, place of presentation]

Heart disease and stroke • 1.5 million Canadians living with the effects • Canada’s leading cause of death for both men and women • One death every seven minutes • $22 billion annual in direct and indirect costs

Promoting Heart Health • Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke could be prevented by reducing risk factors • Physical inactivity is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease and stroke in Canada

How much physical activity do we need? • Adults: 30 to 60 minutes a day* • Children: 90 minutes per day*

*most days of the week

Physical Inactivity; Overweight/Obesity • Percent not physically active enough: – 51% of Canadian adults – 91% of Canadian children and youth

• Percent overweight or obese: – 60% of Canadian adults – 26% of Canadian children and youth

Obesity Trends Among Canadian Adults – CCHS, 2004

Source: M Tjepkema & M Shields, Statistics Canada. June 2005

Comparison of Adult Obesity in 21 Industrialized Countries

Prevalence of Overweight 10-16 Year Olds from 34 Industrialized Countries

The role of the built environment • Our local environment can encourage… – Walking or cycling to school, work, shopping instead of driving – Other active travel (e.g., skating) – Playing outside (more active play, less screen time) – Active forms of recreation

= “active, healthy living”

Active, Healthy Community Design • Mixed land use • Higher density • Amenities close by

Active, Healthy Community Design • Appealing streetscapes • Connectivity (continuous and direct routes)

• Streets designed for walking and cycling • Accessible, efficient public transit • Safe routes to school

Active, Healthy Community Design • Outdoor play areas • Recreational facilities

Benefits of Active, Healthy Community Design • • • • •

Community physical activity rates Obesity levels Improved air quality Quality of life Other benefits: – mental health, social health, traffic safety, noise levels, water quality, energy savings, cost savings, community economic development

Growing recognition • • • • •

Public opinion Health organizations Health research Urban Planners Healthy built environment and active planning initiatives • Innovative property developments emphasizing active, healthy design

Communities responding • Improving connectivity of walking and cycling networks • Active transportation strategies • Public transit system improvements (e.g., light rail) • Recreational infrastructure • Active, healthy design into new developments • Urban planning guidelines

Not yet the norm • Only 12% of Canadians’ home-based trips (e.g., grocery store work or school) on foot or bicycle • CMHC study showed suburban developments still generally car-oriented with poor walkability • Many Canadians do not live within easy walking distance of a grocery store and other amenities – e.g., Waterloo study: – 71% of the urban population in the region do not live within walking distance of a large grocery store – 47% are not within walking distance of a large grocery store, retail food outlet or convenience store

Where will we go from here? • Local decisions shape the environment… – Official community plans – Application for development, redevelopment, zoning change, etc. – Transportation planning – Public transportation initiatives – Active transportation infrastructure (sidewalks, trails, bike paths) – Parks and recreation budgets

The role of the public • • • • • • •

Explore the issues Try the active, healthy neighbourhood design checklist Write/speak to decision makers Respond to public consultations Attend meetings Talk with neighbours, community groups Volunteer on an advisory committee

Discussion • How well does the built environment in [name of community] support active, healthy living? • What community planning initiatives are underway or coming up? What active, healthy community design issues are involved? • How can we take action to support active, healthy community design in [name of community]?