Active City Policy Project

Project Description

GPA worked with Toronto Public Health to create two documents to promote awareness of the relationship between the built environment and levels of physical activity.

The first, Active City: Designing for Health, is an educational report intended for the general public which establishes a set of Active City principles to help Toronto transition to a built environment with features that support improved health outcomes. The report was informed by a review of literature that identified specific features of healthy built environments.

The second is a technical document, intended for internal use only, which analyzes the City’s policy framework, identifies areas for improvement, and discusses successes and challenges in effectively operationalizing health-supporting policies. The report included case studies which examined successes and failures in realizing Active City principles in Toronto.

Consultation was a vital component in the development of the technical report. As part of the study process, our team conducted 26 interviews with internal and external stakeholders and hosted a forum with over 50 participants from across City Divisions. The forum was designed to understand existing barriers and explore new opportunities to promote active transportation at all levels of planning and infrastructure.

This project led to further work with Toronto Public Health on the built environment and health, including:

More Information


Toronto Public Health




DTAH (urban design), Moving Right Along (active transportation)




2015 Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Excellence in Planning Award, and 2015 Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Healthy Communities Award


Active City Report (PDF)


Facilitation and Consultation / Homepage / Planning Policy and Implementation / Sustainability and Healthy Communities