BRAMPTON, ON (Feb 23, 2017) - Today, Regional Council approved an amendment to the Region of Peel's Official Plan that will bring health and age-friendly criteria to the forefront of land-use planning. Known as Regional Official Plan Amendment 27 (ROPA 27), the changes call for development proposals to be assessed using a Healthy Development Framework.
"As the Region continues to grow and our demographics alter, the effects of community design on citizen wellness have never been more important," said Regional Chair, Frank Dale.
The Healthy Development Framework strengthens the application of health-based criteria to land-use planning and development applications.
"The design of communities has a measurable impact on public health and aging outcomes," said Arvin Prasad, Director of Integrated Planning for the Region of Peel. "Many lifestyle factors attributed to personal choice, such as activity levels and active aging, are intricately connected to the built environment in which we live."
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. Reductions in active transportation (e.g., walking or cycling to and from school and work) are associated with poor health outcomes, including increases in chronic disease. Designing neighborhoods to provide more opportunities to walk, cycle and use public transportation is imperative to improving health outcomes.
ROPA 27 addresses health by:
- Applying health-based criteria to land-use planning
- Requiring a health assessment as part of the development application process
The number of seniors in Peel is projected to increase 200% by 2041. At this time, 25 per cent of all people in Peel will be seniors, substantially decreasing the ratio of working age residents to seniors. To support Peel 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 policies
- Promoting healthy development and the use of Universal Design principles to create safer, barrier-free and inclusive environments
- Assessing services and the built environment in areas with high senior populations
The Region of Peel reviews and updates the Official Plan every five years to meet Provincial legislation and adapt to the changing needs of the community. The Official Plan is currently under revisions to align with population forecasts for 2041. ROPA 27 is the first amendment of the Peel 2041 Review. For more information, visit peelregion.ca/planning/officialplan/