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Built Environment

Built Environment

Healthy communities are planned and designed with people in mind. They strive for a healthy population, a clean environment and a strong economy.

A community protects and promotes the health of its residents when it:

  • provides opportunities for physical activity and recreation;
  • ensures access to healthy food;
  • creates a safe physical environment;
  • provides infrastructure and buildings designed for people of all ages, socio-economic status and abilities;
  • creates public spaces and opportunities for people to meet and socialize;
  • protects and sustains the natural environment; and
  • encourages citizen participation in municipal affairs.

Creating healthy communities requires the support, energy and assets of all the people who live in them. The health unit works with many partners to help create healthy places and environments.


  • Advocate for healthy public policy by promoting the inclusion of healthy community design policy statements into official plans and other municipal policies.
  • Engage with our communities to assess and evaluate how our communities are designed in the most healthy way possible.
  • Support the preservation of green spaces.

What Matters to Your Health

Where you live has an impact on your health. For example, you are likely to be healthier if you live in a community that is walkable, has employment and volunteer opportunities, and access to community services.

Access to Green Spaces

Green spaces are good for your overall health. They also reduce the negative impact of climate change.

Building Complete Communities

Building communities that are compact, equipped with public transportation, and appropriate for individuals of all ages, will reduce the negative impacts of climate change, and protect and promote agricultural and green spaces.

A complete community can be urban or rural. Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs states that complete communities “are well-designed, offer transportation choices, accommodate people at all stages of life and have the right mix of housing, a good range of jobs, and easy access to stores and services to meet daily needs.”

For more information:

Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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