Do Cities Impact our Mental Health?

January 08, 2018 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by David Stinson, RPP | Community Design, Mental Health
On Thursday, 7th of September 2017, CBC interviewed Professor Nicholas Rose from King’s College, U.K. on his sociological studies for an upcoming Mental Health and the Mega-city workshop in Switzerland. Professor Rose discussed the apparent link between higher rates of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia and city life. There were no definitive answers on causes: noise, congestion, smells, wealth gaps, social exclusion, limited access to nature, etc., except for the subjective experience of stress.
Have you heard of the Healthy Rural Communities Toolkit? It's a guide for rural municipalities that helps recognize the characteristics commonly associated with rural communities. It provides examples of innovative practices, and land use and development strategies that can help to enhance the built environment and contribute to positive quality of life and health outcomes.
Rural communities are home to approximately one in five Ontario residents, who experience unique environments and lived experiences that can contribute to specific, and often negative health outcomes. These health outcomes call for concerted action and responsive public policy.

Curate The City

February 01, 2016 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Mojan Jianfar, on behalf of The STEPS Initiative | capacity building, Community, community design, community engagement, Engagement, healthy communities, Public Art, public realm
Curate The City
Construction boarding lines our streets for up to five years. An otherwise unwelcome disruption can be used as a blank canvas to engage local citizens in community building activities. With momentum building among Toronto's city councillors to require public art on these vacant spaces, there is a growing demand for public art from Council, as well as the public, and the opportunity to transform them into an outdoor gallery for residents and visitors alike.

Walking Toward the Future

November 02, 2015 | Posted by OPPI | Post Contributed by Dan Burden and Rob Voigt, RPP | active transportation, blue zones, community design, community engagement, healthy communities, placemaking
Walking Toward the Future
In the week that preceded the recent OPPI conference in Toronto, Dan Burden (Honorary Member of OPPI) and I (Robert Voigt, MCIP, RPP) had a number of conversations about the future of planning. As friends and colleagues we enjoy these discussions and the inspiration we derive from them.