Good morning. Let me pose a question to get you thinking after lunch…
I don’t need to tell you that creating trails in Ontario and developing a network that either links internal or urban trails with regional trails, or regional trails with other regions to develop a provincial network, all hinges on good land use planning. It also depends on how communities are designed. Do municipalities plan for healthy community design that takes into consideration the impact the built environment has on health and wellbeing? Do they consider incorporating greenspace, active transportation options, density and intensification, environmental sustainability? We know there’s a connection between health and the built environment. We’ve written a whole literature review on it. Does planning take this into consideration?
Let’s put this into perspective. Planning and health have been interlinked for many, many years. That’s in some ways how public health got it’s start back in the 1800’s when John Snow took the handle off of the Broad Street pump in Soho, London in order to stop a deadly outbreak of cholera. But it’s gone back much further than this: Quote from: The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape: James Howard Kunstler: A great proponent in the field of new urbanism and an outspoken critic of suburbia and urban development Described as a Jeremiah by The Washington Post , Kunstler has been an outspoken critic of suburbia and urban development trends throughout the United States, and has been a leading proponent of the New Urbanism movement. According to Scott Carlson, reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education , Kunstler's books on the subject have become &quot;standard reading in architecture and urban planning courses&quot;. He has summed up his attitude towards the current American landscape by describing it as follows: “ The tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work [is] … a land full of places that are not worth caring about [and] will soon be a nation and a way of life that is not worth defending. ” — James KunstlerHe has also written that: “ … [the] physical arrangement of life in our nation, in particular suburban sprawl, [is] the most destructive development pattern the world has ever seen, and perhaps the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known. ” — James KunstlerHe predicts the coming oil peak will have a catastrophic effect on society in his 2005 book The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes . He appeared in the documentary film The End of Suburbia (2004). In addition to his other books on urban planning, Home From Nowhere , and The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition , Kunstler has also written several works of fiction, the most recent being World Made By Hand in 2008.
How do we ensure that planning is “good”? How do we create better, cleaner, safer environments? How do we build and create our communities to support health? How do we ensure policies support active transportation and trail development? There are a number of ways to achieve this and we’ve all been engaged in many of those strategies.
There are a number of ways to affect change. I don’t need to tell you them or go into detail, but if we were to use a health promotion model, based on the Ottawa Charter for Health promotion, these are some of the ways: Policy development is the most upstream approach of all, because it lays the foundation for change through directing a goal to achieve a certain outcome.
The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol. Where as a policy will contain the 'what and the why' procedures or protocols contain the 'what' the 'how' the 'where' and the 'when'. Policy differs from rules or law. While law can compel or prohibit behaviors (e.g. a law requiring the payment of taxes on income), policy merely guides actions toward those that are most likely to achieve a desired outcome. Policy or policy study may also refer to the process of making important organizational decisions, including the identification of different alternatives such as programs or spending priorities, and choosing among them on the basis of the impact they will have. Because policies are usually developed to influence or change a system (i.e. governments or society), there sometimes are unintended outcomes of a policy. For example, a government may make a policy decision to raise taxes, in hopes of increasing overall tax revenue. Depending on the size of the tax increase, this may have the overall effect of reducing tax revenue by causing capital flight or by creating a rate so high that citizens are deterred from earning the money that is taxed. But when policy is implemented successfully it can create positive impact How do we develop or use policy to achieve better built environments? How do we use policy to preserve greenspace, achieve trail development? Etc.
In terms of land use planning, there are guiding regulatory documents in Ontario. Along with the Planning Act, there is the PPS, which is reviewed every five years. This statement provides direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development, and promotes the provincial “policy-led” planning system. The Provincial Policy Statement recognizes the complex inter-relationships among economic, environmental and social factors in planning and embodies good planning principles. It includes enhanced policies on key issues that affect our communities, such as: the efficient use and management of land and infrastructure; protection of the environment and resources; and ensuring appropriate opportunities for employment and residential development, including support for a mix of uses.
Growth plan for the GGH 2006 Direction for how growth will occur and be planned for in the GGH Emphasizes complete communities, intensification, increasing density, preserving greenspace and agricultural land. So… we have the provincial regulation to back us up! These are expectations… must dos for municipalities.
How has the health unit responded to the issue of BE and health? It became clear to us several years ago that there was a need to address this emerging area of public health. Timing was everything County wanted the health unit to get involved in its IGAP planning – MOH member of subcommittee that took the recommendations from our literature review and built it into the Growth plan. MOH had the ear of government officials Achievements: Developed new, collaborative partnerships locally, regionally and provincially (planners, OPPI, Ontario Ministries, etc) Helped raise the profile of BE across the province through advocacy, leadership and work with groups such as OPHA, alPHA, COMOH, and other health units Created awareness and educated our partners, the public and our staff through: BHC lit review, newsletters, media campaign, meetings, presentations, conferences, website, and personal connections Produced resources for a variety of audiences (lit review, fact sheets, policy document) Successfully integrated BHC-related activities throughout the agency Influenced municipalities to incorporate healthy community design principles into Official Plans and other municipal documents
Within the BHC initiative we were given direction, through our OPlan to … (Objective 1)
Needs assessment was to find out how the health unit could best support planners to create complete and healthy communities. Decision to focus on policy resource was based on the fact that municipalities were in the process of updating their Official Plans to be in compliance with the Places to Grow Act (at least in Simcoe County) and so the priority was to produce policy statements first so planners could use them as they were updating their OPs.
The purpose of this document is to provide municipal planners, municipal elected officials and other stakeholders and community partners in Simcoe Muskoka with suggestions for Official Plan policies that will assist municipalities in creating healthy and complete communities while also meeting the Provincial policies. The document has five sections that are based on key health issues impacted by the built environment: environment, injury, physical activity and sun safety, food access and social cohesion and well-being. Each section contains an overall health-related goal and rationale, a number of related objectives, suggested planning policies to help achieve the objectives and suggested strategies for implementation. It will be up to each individual municipality to consider these policy and implementation suggestions and to determine the feasibility of including them in its Official Plan and other municipal strategies. Municipalities are encouraged to use the concepts within this document and to freely adapt, amend or revise the wording to suit their particular needs and circumstances. This is by no means a complete list and should therefore be viewed as a starting point.
Full dissemination will take place over the next several months.
It’s a very technical document – really meant for planners – but it can be used by other groups and stakeholders as an advocacy tool – use this as one part of an advocacy strategy Educate: health implications, tourism impacts, economic development, etc. Champion: at the political level Retrofitting: where possible Tool – are there other ways to implement these policies, other official documents? i.e. Severn Sound Sustainability Plan http://www.severnsound.ca/SSEA_Sus_ExecSum.htm Any other suggestions??
Megan w - trail presentation
Healthy Community Design: Policy Statements for Official Plans Simcoe County Trail Development Symposium – 13 April 2010 Megan Williams, Health Promotion Specialist
Good Planning <ul><li>It’s called good planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land use planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning for health </li></ul></ul>
Some Thoughts <ul><li>“ We ought to plan the ideal of our city with four considerations. The first, as being the most indispensable, is health.” </li></ul><ul><li>Aristotle, Politics (ca. 350 BC) </li></ul><ul><li>“ We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.” </li></ul><ul><li>Winston Churchill </li></ul><ul><li>“ When everything looks the same there is no such thing as place any longer.” </li></ul><ul><li>James Howard Kunstler </li></ul>
How to Affect Change <ul><li>Using a health promotion model: </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Skill development </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive environments </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Policy development </li></ul>
What is Policy? <ul><li>“… a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Policies can be understood as political, management, financial, and administrative mechanisms arranged to reach explicit goals.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy </li></ul>
Provincial Land Use Policies <ul><li>Ontario’s long-term prosperity, environmental health and social well-being depend on wisely managing change and promoting efficient land use and development patterns. Efficient land use and development patterns support strong, liveable and healthy communities, protect the environment and public health and safety, and facilitate economic growth. </li></ul><ul><li>(Provincial Policy Statement 2005, Part V, 1.0 Building Strong Communities) </li></ul>
Places to Grow – Growth Plan <ul><li>This Plan is about building </li></ul><ul><li>complete communities, whether </li></ul><ul><li>urban or rural. These are </li></ul><ul><li>communities that are well </li></ul><ul><li>designed, offer transportation </li></ul><ul><li>choices, accommodate people at </li></ul><ul><li>all stages of life and have the right </li></ul><ul><li>mix of housing, a good range of </li></ul><ul><li>jobs, and easy access to stores </li></ul><ul><li>and services to meet daily needs. </li></ul><ul><li>(Places to Grow - Growth Plan 2006, p.13) </li></ul>
Health Unit’s BHC Initiative <ul><li>Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Committee established - March 2006 in response to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing evidence of connections between health and the built environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provincial planning – policy direction was towards intensification and densification to achieve healthier, complete communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built environment identified as a priority in HU Strategic Plan 2007-2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of built environment in the OPHS </li></ul><ul><li>Operational plans – have achieved some successes </li></ul>
Policy Resource - Background <ul><li>BHC 2009 Operational Plan Objective 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage with strategic partners to influence planning decisions using healthy community criteria. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key deliverable of this objective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct needs assessment of local municipal planners and develop tools & resources to assist them in creating healthy and complete communities. </li></ul></ul>
Hearing from Planners <ul><li>Feb 2009 - Conducted needs assessment of municipal planners in Simcoe and Muskoka </li></ul><ul><li>Results indicated that planners wanted: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>checklist of healthy community design criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>draft policy statements with health enhancing language/principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>resource manual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decision made to focus on upstream approach – policy development </li></ul>
The Resource <ul><li>Healthy Community Design: </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Statements for Official Plans </li></ul>
Dissemination Strategy <ul><li>Municipal Planners in Simcoe Muskoka </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic distribution by mid-March 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hard copy distribution by April 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Webinar/seminar </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work with County and District to promote with their planners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Municipal Elected Officials in SM </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Executive summary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invitation to webinars, presentations, meetings, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Partners and Stakeholders in SM and throughout Ontario </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff to use with municipalities, groups and individuals as part of their regular work with partners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promote to and with provincial partners (e.g. OPPI, Ontario ministries, OPHA, alPHa, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presentations & meetings </li></ul></ul></ul>
Evaluation of Resource <ul><li>Develop and implement evaluation plan for BHC Policy resource </li></ul><ul><li>Expected in summer 2010 </li></ul>
Using it for Trail Development <ul><li>Develop your plan – use a variety of different strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create awareness, educate people, find champions, mobilize the community, advocate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engage stakeholders and community members </li></ul><ul><li>Use resource as an advocacy tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Become familiar with your municipality’s Official Plan, Zoning Bylaw, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at where the gaps are and where things can be strengthened </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become part of the public consultation process for OP reviews, updates and amendments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet with Council members, planners, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review implementation suggestions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there any you can adopt or push for? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other suggestions? </li></ul>