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Blue Mountain

Conference 2017

A Tool You Can Use: Greenspace and Ecohealth Policy Toolkit

October 04, 2017

1:15pm-2:15pm, continuing 2:30pm-3:30pm

The planning profession in Ontario has long supported policies and plans that recognize the importance of healthy natural environments as a foundation for urban, urbanizing and rural land uses in Ontario. The value of this approach is justified in various ways, for example the economic benefits of ecosystem services, the fundamental right to clean air and water, the importance of biodiversity, the need to adapt to climate change and so on. However the direct benefits of healthy ecosystems to human health and wellbeing have generally received less attention. Recently, professionals from a number of sectors – including public health, medicine, parks and recreation, forestry, environment and of course planning – have been coming together to focus attention on the links between human health & wellbeing and the natural & built environments. A new collaborative called EcoHealth Ontario (EHO) is providing a focal point for these discussions. EHO recently launched a policy toolkit that provides the evidence-based rationale and guidance for developing ecohealth policies in different sectors. This session will provide an opportunity for planners to learn about the toolkit and explore ways to apply it in their own work.