December 9, 2019: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the Township of Centre Wellington have collaborated on a new report that will become the baseline for future planning and growth.
The report combines survey responses from Elora, Salem and Fergus residents with physical data about their neighbourhoods to gauge how well their built environment supports health and well-being. In addition to uncovering peoples’ perceptions and experiences, it will inform future planning decisions.
“A community designed to make walking and biking easier for everyone supports residents to be healthy and socially connected,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “The Healthy Community Design Baseline Project found commendable design elements in the community and opportunities for Public Health to support the Township to design healthy communities for all residents.”
“This report was recently endorsed by Council, as it aligns with our Healthy Growth strategic priority, and proved to be an exciting partnership between the Township and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to study healthy community design in Centre Wellington,” said Mayor Kelly Linton. “This study will be a useful tool to better understand our community’s perceptions and behaviours, and the key indicators will show us now, and in the future, policy initiatives and recommendations that could be made to ensure we are making the right decisions when it comes to community growth, neighbourhood design and intensification.”
Key findings show that:
- Almost all houses are within walking distance to a park and most residents reported walking to a park.
- The majority of residents felt it was important have trails in their neighbourhoods; a finding supported by a strong trail network.
- The majority of residents know that higher home density encourages walking or cycling but preferred less dense neighbourhoods.
- Peripheral areas of the community are the fastest growing, but the least physically connected.
The data was collected in the fall of 2017, with 568 residents completing the survey (63 percent of whom live in in Fergus; 37 percent in Elora and Salem). The process will be repeated in 2022 to monitor trends. The final report can be found at WDGPublicHealth.ca/reports.
Jill Davies, Communications Specialist
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4376