In October, I released my report on the state of public health in Canada. I chose designing healthy living as the topic for my first report as Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) because of the tremendous potential that changing our built environment has for helping Canadians live healthier lives.
Community design is one factor among many that can lead to better health by providing opportunities for increased physical activity, making healthy eating options easier to access, and promoting better mental health through social support and community belonging.
This report answers many questions but also raises several others. We need more and better information if we are to effectively measure the health impacts of community design and incorporate evidence-based strategies into community planning. This report aims to raise awareness among Canadians and also encourage dialogue across the many disciplines involved in community planning and health promotion.
To read my report and to find out more about how planning our communities can help build healthy living into our daily lives, visit http://Canada.ca/CPHOReport.
--Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada,