Whether you’re downtown, in the suburbs or out in the country, your health is shaped by the quality of the spaces we create for ourselves and the ways we get between them. We’ve all experienced places that are uninspiring and hard to get around and that make it difficult to get to where you want to go on foot, bike or transit. What if you could conveniently walk to a local store? What if your children could safely bike to school? What if you could easily take public transit to work? Our streets and communities can be built and evolve into healthier and walkable places.
What if easier access didn’t mean bigger roads and more parking lots, but foot, transit and cycle access to local, healthy foods, stores, parks, schools, businesses, and support services? Changes to the physical world can lead to better or worse personal health. It’s a positive feedback loop. A well-built environment leads to physical activity healthy eating and for connecting with others. Changing our behaviour is complicated. We need to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Well-designed, healthy communities shape our decisions and our health. Climate change, pollution, population growth, and inequities are challenging communities worldwide. The decisions we make today will impact future generations. As our communities grow, the choices we make are important. Change won’t come all at once, but it is possible. Your opinion is important for city planning, especially for ideas about neighbourhood plans and features. Let your city know you care about its health: check out your city’s website, contact your local councillor and attend community association meetings. Talk with your friends, family and colleagues about your ideas for a healthy community. If you want a choice, use your voice. The movement towards healthy communities is growing, and change is possible with your input.
Take up the challenge! Our health and our planet are depending on us..