Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Healthy Communities

The planning profession first developed to meet the public health challenge of controlling infectious disease. That led to planning developments such as central water and sewer services, designated land uses and better improvements to industrial processes.

Today planners continue to address health concerns in the form of challenges such as chronic disease and skyrocketing healthcare costs. The intersections of these issues with ones such as climate change and energy conservation mean that promoting healthy communities is bound up with nearly all aspects of the built environments that planners help create.


NEW! Healthy Communities Committee Annotated Bibliography

The CIP Healthy Communities Committee (HCC) is launching a series of annotated bibliographies as a resource for planners looking for a bird's eye view of resources exploring connections between health and the built environment, as well as implications for planning. The resources can provide planners with a better understanding of how the built environment is a foundation for health and well-being, and the role of planners in building healthy, vibrant, and livable communities. It also provides inspiration for the ways in which planners can engage with the public health sector through applying approaches such as health impact assessments, and the inclusion of health metrics and outcomes.

The committee encourages all members to read and share our first issue Planning for Healthy Communities - A Planner's Prescription. Questions or comments regarding the Annotated Bibliographies can be directed to the HCC Chair, Olimpia Pantelimon MCIP, RPP, MOUQ at

CIP Policy on Healthy Communities

In 2017, CIP will begin developing a policy on healthy communities and the important role planners play in the development of healthy built environments. Building on existing ‘Healthy Communities’ resources, developed by CIP and its partners through the Healthy Canada by Design initiative, the policy will be guided by the Healthy Communities Committee (see list of members below). The process will begin with the development of a policy framework, research, and information gathering, including the dissemination of the third “Taking the Pulse” survey to the membership, PTIAs, planning schools, and other stakeholders and partners.

For updates and more information about our Healthy Communities initiatives, please continue monitoring our website, newsletters, and social media outlets. 

Report Published

"Taking the Pulse2"

Comparative Analysis:  Planning for Healthier Communities  

Questionnaire Results - June 2014

The comparative analysis of this report is based on the initial research report, published in April, 2011.

"Taking the Pulse" 

Benchmarking Planning for Healthier Communities

Questionnaire Results - April 2011

The Canadian Institute of Planners is an active partner in the Healthy Canada by Design CLASP initiative, which stands for "Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention." It unites cross-sector efforts to promote healthy built environments, and translates research into tools to support policy-makers, public health officials, planners and developers in creating more health-promoting communities across Canada. Through this partnership, for instance, Toronto Public Health has produced software for urban and transportation planners to model how urban and transportation planning affect health outcomes.

This CLASP initiative has produced three facts sheets on topics relevant to planners:

  • Fact Sheet 1: Active Transportation, Health and Community Design: What is the Canadian evidence saying?
  • Fact Sheet 2Active Living, Children & Youth: What is the Canadian evidence saying?
  • Fact Sheet 3Health Equity and Community Design: What is the Canadian evidence saying?

In December 2013, CIP completed a Healthy Communities Legislative Comparison Survey Report that presents a high-level survey of planners across Canada comparing the legislative, administrative and policy frameworks supporting the creation of healthy communities.
CIP’s Healthy Communities Practice Guide is designed to help planners promote healthier communities, and to understand how health practitioners can support them in attaining that shared goal.
In spring 2012, Plan Canada published an article on CIP’s Healthy Communities initiatives, written by the CIP Healthy Communities Sub-Committee: “Our 21st Century Challenge: Healthier Communities”.

Visit our Resource Library


Our Healthy Communities PartnersNos partenaires en Healthy Communities
Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaHealthy Canada by Design CLASPCanadian Partnership Against CancerCanadian Council on Social Determinants of Health