In April 2020, the Active Neighbourhoods Canada [ANC] network celebrated ten years of co-designing active communities across Canada. The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) at Clean Air Partnership was a key partner in the network since 2013, and we are proud of all that we have accomplished alongside our partners the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, Sustainable Calgary, and GreenUP.
Now more than ever, Canadian municipalities must take action to create healthy and resilient communities. With this in mind, the ANC network is proud to unveil our new platform, which reports on the impact we’ve had over the last decade in 24 Canadian neighbourhoods. Our new platform, IMPACT.ParticipatoryPlanning.ca, shares outcomes and resources that speak to the capacity of communities to transform their environment.
From 2010 to today, this ambitious project engaged close to 6,000 residents and 65 partner organizations in co-designing 24 neighbourhoods across 3 provinces.
An innovative approach that is making its mark
The Active Neighbourhoods Canada network piloted, refined and scaled up an innovative approach to participatory urban planning, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Ten years ago, this was the first intervention-based project supported by PHAC to address the links between the built environment and public health. The conversation has grown significantly since then. In 2017, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, stated that active built environments “improve public health and prevent disease” in her Designing Healthy Living report.
Neighbourhoods focused on health and resilience
The pan-Canadian experience of the Active Neighbourhoods Canada Network shows many communities are actively looking for solutions to create climate-friendly and healthy neighbourhoods. Thousands of users have downloaded the tools and resources available on our bilingual portal. “Working with communities across Ontario to co-design more healthy, resilient, and equitable neighbourhoods was a true pleasure”, said former TCAT Project Manger, Francis Nasca. “We hope that the tools, resources, and stories shared at impact.participatoryplanning.ca help communities to undertake co-design projects in their neighbourhoods.”
The ANC Network is currently seeking funding to scale up our co-design approach to even more communities across Canada. In Ontario, the co-design approach carries on through GreenUP’s NeighbourPLAN program in Peterborough.
Reach of the Active Neighbourhoods Canada network
- 5,993 residents involved in 24 green, active and healthy neighborhoods across 3 provinces
- 14,000 People reached through conferences, courses, workshops and webinars
- 82,000 website visits (from 2094 cities across 166 countries) on the bilingual platform ParticipatoryPlanning.ca
- 8,200 downloads of our co-design tools
- 1 flagship portal for professionals and decision makers
Full project report at: impact.ParticipatoryPlanning.ca
About Active Neighbourhoods Canada
Active Neighbourhoods Canada is supported by Montreal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC), The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) at Clean Air Partnership, and Sustainable Calgary (SC) and it has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
By Francis Nasca, The Centre for Active Transportation, Clean Air Partnership