Designing Healthy Living, Dr. Tam to Speak in Ottawa

Dr. Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, urges Canadian cities to improve the nation’s health by reshaping the built environment. Ottawa will host the 55thInternational Making Cities Livable Conference on Healthy 10-Minute Neighborhoods, May 14-18, assembling an international roster of outstanding speakers to examine how best to ensure that within a 10-minute walk or bike ride, most residents can access community gathering places, shops, schools, parks, services, places of work, and public transit.

Dr. Tam will be a leading speaker. In her Annual ReportDesigning Healthy Living, Dr. Tam emphasizes the tremendous potential that the built environment has for helping people live healthier lives.“Community design can contribute to better health by providing residents with opportunities for increased physical activity, by making healthy eating options easier to access, and by promoting better mental health through social support and community belonging… I encourage decision makers and planners at all levels to consider health in making infrastructure planning decisions."

The conference will discuss Ottawa’s latest plans for creating neighborhoods around the new Light Rail Transit stations, and examine how well other Canadian cities are achieving this goal. Model examples of healthy neighborhoods from Germany, the UK, Italy, Russia, the US, and elsewhere will be examined; and the newest research findings, strategies, and tools will be presented.

The Conference will hear how elected officials, planners, urban designers, architects, developers, professionals in public health and social sciences, developers, and community representatives can best work together to achieve a healthy environment. 

The mission of IMCL states: “The purpose of the Making Cities Livable movement is to enhance the physical and social health and well-being of all inhabitants, strengthen community, and increase civic engagement by sustainably reshaping the built environment of our cities, suburbs, towns and villages."