Everyone can do their part to help create healthy communities. Here are some things you can do:
Learn more about how the built environment and community design affects health by viewing the following fact sheets:
Become familiar with your municipality's Official Plan. An Official Plan sets out policy for land use in your community. It also sets out how your municipality will plan and design for current and future growth and development. Go on-line or visit your local library or municipal office to read your municipality’s Official Plan. Click here for links to websites and resources with more information.
Make it Easy
Get to know your neighbourhood and the people who live around you. For example:
- Walk or cycle through your neighbourhood and assess how easy or difficult it is to get around without a car.
- Say hi to the people next door, hold a street party or consider some other event that allows neighbours to connect with each other.
- Support your local farmers' market and buy locally grown produce at your grocery store.
Volunteer and work with others to help create healthy places. For example, you can:
- Join a local trails association
- Join a service club that builds neighbourhood playgrounds
- Join an environmental group working to improve water and air quality
- Talk to recreation staff about offering programs and facilities in the community that create meeting places and opportunities to socialize
- Start a community garden
- Join your community policing committee to increase safety and peace-of-mind
Or, do your own thing:
- Plant a tree… or two or three
- Pick up garbage and recycle
- Conserve energy
- Don’t idle your vehicle
- Walk, cycle or use public transit
When municipalities review their Official Plans or make decisions about zoning by-laws and applications for land severance and subdivisions, the public must be consulted. Take the opportunity to participate in local planning consultations and/or to provide written comment. Your voice is important to this process. You can speak out for healthy changes.