Official Plan Amendment Supports Healthier Communities
The design of our communities influences health outcomes for people in every stage of life. On February 23, Regional Council approved an amendment to the Region of Peel’s Official Plan to promote the design of more walkable, connected and accessible neighbourhoods.
The Regional Official Plan Amendment, ROPA27, is the first arising from the current review of our Official Plan and focuses on "Health and the Built Environment" and "Age-Friendly Communities". The Official Plan is reviewed every five years to meet changing community needs and provincial legislation.
Health and the Built Environment
Diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity are threatening the health of Peel residents. A 2011 survey by Peel Public Health found that 32 per cent of students in grades 7-12 were overweight or obese.
These trends are linked to reductions in active transportation (i.e. walking to school and work). Internationally, communities that provide better opportunities to walk, bike and use public transportation – by way of nearby amenities, safe paths and connected transportation links –enjoy better health outcomes for their residents.
ROPA 27 supports healthier communities by:
- Applying health-based criteria to land-use planning
- Requiring a health assessment as part of the development application process
The proportion of seniors in Peel is projected to increase 200 per cent by 2041. At this time, one in every five Peel residents will be a senior citizen.
To support seniors aging in place, communities must be planned to ensure seniors have access to the services and opportunities they need to thrive.
ROPA 27 supports age-friendly communities by:
- Encouraging local municipalities to develop supportive senior policies
- Promoting healthy development and the use of universal design principles to create a safe, barrier free and more inclusive environment
- Assessing services and the built environment in areas with high senior populations
Learn more at peelregion.ca/planning/officialplan/.