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Webinar: The Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit: How can community planning and design make us healthier?

This webinar took place in English. Click here to acces the recording (English only).

Human health is significantly influenced by the design of our communities. On a population health level, we are much more likely to achieve optimal health if our homes, transportation systems and public spaces are designed to help us interact with our neighbours, be close to nature, eat well and be physically active.

Partnering with local governments is a powerful public health strategy to encourage healthy living and prevent chronic disease. To support the integration of health priorities within community planning and design, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control has released the Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit (2018), an update of its 2014 publication of the same title. Since its original release in 2014, the HBE Linkages Toolkit has rapidly been adopted by health professionals and others who collaborate with local governments for credible health research and key messages.

Based on comprehensive literature reviews and weighted assessment criteria, the HBE Linkages Toolkit considers health evidence related to neighbourhood design, transportation systems, food systems, natural environments and housing. It also offers a synthesis of research findings, which link planning principles to specific health outcomes.

The full report and two-page summary can be found on the BCCDC website.

In this webinar, we reviewed new research content in the HBE Linkages Toolkit related to social well-being, economic co-benefits and small/medium-sized community contexts. We will also described potential ways to use this resource and next steps for its continued development. In addition, we drew on practice examples informed by the HBE Linkages Toolkit, such as the development of the Official Community Plan for the City of Abbotsford, which included health and well-being metrics to help evaluate the performance of different planning strategies.


Teri Emrich,
Knowledge Translation Specialist, NCCDH
Charito Gailling,
Project Manager, Population and Public Health team, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
Jennifer Fix,
Associate of Urban Planning and Design, DIALOG
Dr. Lisa Mu,
Public Health and Preventive Medicine physician


Related resource

Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit: Making the Links Between Design, Planning and Health, Version 2.0 (2018)  


Click here to access the recording (English only).

  • Presenters:
  • Charito Gailling, Jennifer Fix, Dr. Lisa Mu, 
  • Teri Emrich
    Teri Emrich

    Teri Emrich, BSc, MPH, PhD

    Knowledge Translation Specialist

    Teri is a Registered Dietitian with experience working in population health at both the federal and provincial level. She has professional experiences in monitoring and evaluating public health programs and frameworks, public health practice capacity building, and public health policy research. Teri also develops and teaches undergraduate nutrition courses. Teri earned her BSc in Human Nutrition at StFX, and her MPH in Community Nutrition and PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto. She has completed CIHR fellowships in Public Health Policy and Population Intervention for Chronic Disease Prevention.

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