TCAT is thrilled to be taking on new projects with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the City of Peterborough. We’re excited to continue expanding our work beyond the GTHA, to support communities across Ontario to become friendlier places for active transportation.
In Simcoe Muskoka, we are building upon work completed last year during our Healthy Built Environments research project with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. During the first phase of the project, TCAT investigated how public health units can most effectively work with their communities to achieve community design that improves population health. The project had two objectives: 1) identify and define the characteristics of community design that protect and promote health and health equity, and 2) identify and describe the most promising practices for public health units to engage with communities to achieve health-protective, health-promoting, and health-equitable community design.
In this next project phase, we are supporting knowledge dissemination to make the results of our research accessible to public health professionals across Ontario. We are developing three publicly available resources that will help public health and planning professionals to more meaningfully collaborate:
- A public-facing report of promising practices that answers the key question, “What are Ontario Public Health Units doing today to influence community design?”
- A primer on Ontario planning processes that will support public health professionals to identify opportunities for input and involvement in planning
- An interactive online bank of resources that gathers high quality resources applicable to healthy built environment design
In Peterborough, we are working with the City of Peterborough to evaluate how users of the George Street corridor feel about the street’s new Complete Streets configuration, from a safety and ease of use perspective, and to evaluate the economic impact of the Complete Street design on nearby businesses.
Adapting the survey methodology developed by TCAT to evaluate the economic impact of the Bloor Street bike lanes in Toronto, this project will survey users of the street to understand their perceptions of safety, use of the street, and interaction with nearby businesses.