This is the subheader/statement. To hide this section, edit the syles.css and set #subheader Diplay to None in the box tab.


participation and design mast head                                   
Celebrating 18 years of engagement and urban design for healthier communities!


Summer Fall 2018

Walk21 Bogota

This fall Paul presented the school mapping project - work being done for Toronto Public Health - at the annual Walk21 Conference. This year it was in Bogota. The talk generated  discussion about how to engage students in map making. We hope to build on these suggestions when producing the next round of maps!

Bogoat slides

Exploring your school neighbourhood

We continue to work with Toronto Public Health to build maps for schools using GIS data and cartoons!. The maps illustrate health-supporting destinations within a short walk of the school. We developed a "Tool Kit" to assist teachers in using the map. Our evaluation indicated strong support and included numerous suggestions to improve access to the maps.
Map enlargedshopping family
             soccer                gardeners 

Webinar (Sold Out): How can public health units engage in official plan reviews?

There was a considerable amount of interest in the March 29 webinar hosted by the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC) - long time advocates for healthy communities. If you missed it - no worries! It is available here courtesy of OHCC.

South Riverdale Community Health Centre roof garden

Construction is complete. We did the design and the planting. The garden is now ready for its first full season!
roof garden phots

Built environment and health in Ontario

We assisted in pulling together resources including this discussion related to the built enviornment and health (in Ontario) available here.
On line discussion advertisement

Winter 2018

How can public health units engage in official plan reviews?

We worked with Peterborough Public Heath and their land use planners to strategize on how to incorporate public health into the new County Official Plan. We plan to share that experience at an upcoming webinar hosted by the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC)- - long time advocates for healthy communities.  Join us if you can.

Neighbourhood improvement planning

Working with the City of Toronto, we assisted the Don Valley NIA in developing a strategic action plan for 2018 and beyond. It was social, focussed and productive.

Summer and Fall 2017

Engaging communities in design for walking and cycling (with OHCC)

This fall we worked with the Thunder Bay Public Health Unit to look at traffic calming and their new Transportation Master Plan. We engaged the community and staff in an interactive walking audit and then in a workshop to learn about traffic calming techniques, costs and levels of public/political acceptance.

walk and workshop in thunder bay

St Thomas Walkability Assessment

St Thomas Walkabilty Assessment complete.
St Thomas report

Engaging communities in park planning (with OHCC)

The Counties of Grey and Bruce are gearing up for municipal official plans. Late this summer we assisted with planning a workshop with Grey Bruce Public Health and OPPI local planners.  We presented an interactive discussion about the links between parks, open space and health. For slides of the talks go to LINK
park image

Winter 2016 & Spring 2017

Regional Planning for School Travel

With Green Communities Canada, WSP, Ryerson University and stakeholders in six GTHA regions we developed strategies for school travel planning in each region.   The work was completed for Metrolinx

Active School travel image

Built Environment and Health Workshops

With HC-Link we hosted an on-line web chat with a follow-up planned for late spring. We also hosted a workshop with Durham Region to share information on planning, growth, transportation and health and set out ways to foster collaboration between departments.

Cycling Advocacy in Waterloo Region

Working with Waterloo Region Public Heath and Region stakeholders we reviewed various ways that advocacy can be supported and who might take on what roles for future advocacy efforts

Advocay images

York Region Built Environment and Health Strategy

Working for York Region with MMM/WSP, Janet Dawson and Brianna Salmon we have conducted research and workshops with Regional and municipal stakeholders to identify ways to accelerate improvements to the built environment to better support health in York Region.

Metrolinx Active and Sustainable School Travel (ASST) Regional Strategies

We are working with Green Communities Canada, Ryerson University and MMM/WSP in 6 GTHA regions. We will assist each region  - Halton, York, Hamilton, Durham, Halton and Peel - in creating a strategic plan to accelerate and evaluate ASST work.
.HAmilton Workshop

St Thomas Walkability Assessment

We are working with MMM/WSP to produce a plan for improving walkability in St. Thomas Ontario.  The project partners include local developers, the municipality and Elgin St Thomas Public Health.  Walkability audits, workshops and GIS mapping are pointing to a range of strategic improvements.
St Thomas

& Summer 2016

Walkability Audits

We have done a number of customized walkability audits documented in a recent webinar for Ontario's Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC/OPHEA). For a recorded presentation CLICK HERE
OPHEA Poster

Roof Top Garden - South Riverdale Community Health Centre in Toronto

SRCHC, with assistance from Live Green Toronto is creating a roof top garden. Paul produced the design, modelling, budgeting and construction drawings. Construction is underway this spring!
Design drawings

Mapping Physical Activity and Healthier Food Resources

For Toronto Public Health, PSW produced a series of maps for schools. The maps show nearby physical activity and food resources within 2 Km of the school.
School Map                  TPH Map

Fall Winter 2015/2016

Strategic Planning for Active Transportation in Niagara on the Lake

We conducted two workshops for the NOTL Active Transportation Advisory Committee to look for ways to accelerate improvements and build on the work already underway in NOTL.
NOTL WOrkshop  map

Summer/Fall 2015

Walkability Audits in Markham Ontario

We conducted neighbourhood walkability audits for the City of Markham to identify existing barriers to walking and to develop some ideas for improving conditions.

plan drawing   perspective

Winter/Spring 2015

Walkability Audits in Thunder Bay Ontario

We conducted neighbourhood walkability audits for the City of Thunder Bay to bring stakeholders together and to develop some ideas and support for improving walking conditions. Read about the work Thunder Bay is doing on walkability.

   TBay tour  Event photo

Planning for "smart growth" in Ontario

We assisted the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition and the Ontario Smart Growth Network with organizing a webinar on February 3 and Forum on March 24. We brought together a range of stakeholders from the province, non-governmental organizations and the planning and development industry to share community engagement strategies for the upcoming review of Ontario's Growth Plan.

Planning for growth at the Southern First Nations Secretariat

With the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition we shared ideas on growth patterns that may be appropriate in the Southern First Nations communities. Slides located HERE

Active transportation and local food - way finding in Woolwich, Ontario

We worked with the Township of Woolwich, Waterloo Region Public Health and Healthy Communities Woolwich to produce an active transportation way-finding strategy to identify the active transportation network and locations for local food.  
sign                 cyclists                 signs

Fall 2014

Sharing our experiences: "Active City Neighbourhood Audits"

This fall we presented our work with Toronto Public Health conducting "Active City Neighbourhood Audits" at the (always energizing!) 2014 Complete Streets Forum hosted by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation
Holding Clipboard       TCAT slide      

Sharing our experiences:"Working With Municipalities" webinar with HC-Link

This fall Paul shared his experience working with municipalities on promoting better conditions for walking and cycling and a healthier community overall. He reviewed municipal mandates and priorities, how to approach municipalities and what an organization might offer a potential municipal partner.

HC Link Webinar

Cycling education workshops for Walk and Roll Peel

This summer / fall we are providing interactive cycling workshops at schools, community centres & events in Peel Region. 

Peel Workshops  

Summer 2014

Pedestrian Circulation Assessment for Port Hope Ontario

We just finished an analysis of existing policies and street conditions related to pedestrian movement and safety along with recommendations for improving the overall network and crossing points.

Port Hope Report   Ped Map

Active Transportation and Parks Policy Updates 2014:

Several municipalities are actively updating plans.  We are reviewing municipal plans to include updated demographics, new provincial planning policy, local strategic directions and - very exciting - work that has been done! These include:
  • City of Kawartha Lakes Parks Strategy
  • City of Kawartha Lakes Trails Master Plan
  • Active Transportation Plan for Minden, Ontario
  • Active Transportation Plan for Haliburton Ontario
   Minden Adendum

Winter 2014

Active City Audits with Toronto Public Health

We are working with Toronto Public Health to conduct 10 Active City Audits in Toronto. All the snow makes it easy to see movement patterns while discovering the challenges and opportunities of walking and cycling in Toronto's inner suburbs.

Audit bike                   Audit 2

Lower Don Trail Master Plan - Received 2014 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Regional Award - LINK

The City of Toronto's "Lower Don Trail Access, Environment + Art Master Plan" is complete and some of the key ideas are going out to tender for construction in 2014!   We assisted DTAH in identifying key opportunities for trail connections. This plan builds on our previous work to improve connections in the valley (scroll down to April 2013). The recent master plan is available here.              

lower don trail master plan                         report image of bridge

Fall 2013

Speaking engagements

Paul Young was invited key note presenter for York Region's Public Health planning conference. He spoke on the health impacts of our built environment.  In October Paul spoke at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health conference on "Building Active Transportation Supports using a Healthy Communities Process". And in November Paul spoke to over 200 delegates at the annual HC-Link conference in Toronto on "Building Environmentally and Socially Healthier Communities". A sample recording is available here.

Webinar Series: Planning for Healthy Communities

Paul Young and guests conducted two free webinars on October 22 and 31st for the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition. Part 1 Influencing Changes to the Built Environment and Part 2 Evaluating Impacts of Development Proposals. Special thanks to Heidi and Brian!
Model of development

Trails Plans

This fall we updated the Trails Master Plan for the City of Kawartha Lakes. Looking forward to a trail ride from Lindsay to Fenlon Falls this spring!

Spring & Summer 2013

Building Healthy Corner Stores with Toronto Public Health

We need easy access to fresh foods in our neighbourhoods.  Working with Toronto Public Health's Food Strategy group and entrepreneur, James Johnson-Piett we put together a day-long workshop with over 50 stakeholders to start a conversation about how corner stores in Toronto might better support health.   Dr. Leia Minaker, Brian Cook, Sarah Vogelzang and Jessica Hambleton shared research on food access in TorontoJames Johnson-Piett then shared his experiences in the U.S. working on Healthy Corner Store conversions. In the afternoon we had a lively discussion and "World Cafe" to set out some strategies and next steps. More information is available here
Corner Store Workshop

Community and Government Engagement in Hue and Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An Workshop  Kids after school
Cities are growing and public space is under increasing pressure to support health and sustainability into the future.  Public Space Workshop worked with Health Bridge Canada's Livable Cities Program in two Vietnamese cities to share experiences on engaging the public and in master planning for parks and open space.   We held several workshops and toured the parks and new community-built playgrounds. Then we set out some strategies to embark on a city-wide parks planning strategy.  For these two cities, working on park improvements was a great entry point for future engagement and planning projects to make cities more livable and healthy.

Lower Don Trail Master Plan Underway

lower don aerial viewAccess to Lower Don Valley
We are excited to be contributing to a vision for the Lower Don River trail system.  In 2011 with the support of OHCC we conducted a stakeholder workshop. 
The first report is available HERE
In 2013 the City of Toronto initiated a study to develop a long-term vision and implementation framework for improving trail connections, accessibility and public art opportunities in the valley.  We worked with DTAH to develop the vision and look forward to the release of the final report this fall.

Official Plan Review for Haldimand and Norfolk Counties

Haldimand and Norfolk Counties have engaged Public Space workshop to review their Official Plans to determine the level of support for active transportation, recreation and food security.

Winter 2012 - Working with Municipalities in the North

How can Public Health work with municipalities to create healthier communities? Thanks to HC Link and the North Bay Parry Sound district health Unit for the opportunity to share partnership examples  . . . including active transportation workshops, official plan reviews, community gardens and food security planning - where to start and who to talk to. It's all recorded here for your viewing enjoyment!

Presenting at Walk21 Mexico City Conference

"Public Meetings . . . What Could Go Wrong?" Looking forward to learning from the people working on active transportation in and around Mexico City. Conference link is HERE

Other recent work

Supporting Active Transportation in the Official Plan - Guide Available

Cover for Niagara AT in OP Guide
Working with Niagara Region Integrated Community Planning and Healthy Living Niagara we produced a guide to help integrate supports for walking and cycling into the Official Plan. The guide is available HERE

Presenting at Toronto's 2012 Complete Streets Conference

Another inspirational conference. Thanks to HC Link and the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition for sponsoring my talk. All presentations including my talk on "widening the scope of engagement in active transportation planning" are available at the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation HERE
Presenting at complete streets 2012

Active Transportation planning in Welland

This spring I was invited to Welland Ontario to assist in strategizing for improved walking and cycling. On the heels of their Bicycle Friendly Community Award, Welland is now on its way to having an active transportation advisory committee in place by fall of this year!
welland article

North Bay Examines its Built Environment and the Impacts on Health

Thanks to HC Link & the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition and the Healthy Communities team in North Bay. Read more . . .

Building Healthy Communities Conference St. Johns Newfoundland 

December 2011, Key Note Speaker,  Link
CBC news coverage
CBC's Here and Now news coverage of conference

Tools for Change conference

November 2011, Presenter at , "Big Hearts, Small Budgets: Effective Advocacy for Non profits and Citizen Groups in Planning Disputes", Toronto Link

Walk21 Vancouver

Walk21 Vancouver,  Presenting "Drums, Dots and Drawings" a metaphor for bringing participants into a process, enabling them to share priorities and then moving into action for design improvements. Link
Street Party
Thanks to OHCC, SRCHC for support.

Official Plan Policy Reviews

We just completed a review of 10 Niagara Municipal Official Plans to see how these policies can best support cycling and walking. Paul just finished a draft of an active transportation guide for future official plan work in the Region. Report is available HERE

Linking the Don Valley Trail to Communities and Destinations

Density and green space
Last summer Paul worked with a number of enthusiastic trail user groups, The Toronto Cyclists Union, Evergreen Brickworks and the City of Toronto to host a workshop to improve connections to and from the trail.

Report is available HERE

Georgian Bay Active Transportation Strategy

In the Spring of 2011, Paul conducted a day long workshop to set out strategic directions for Active Transportation in the Township of Georgian Bay. For the full story
Georgian Bay AT Plan

Planning and Engineering Professionals Workshop on Accelerating Supports for Active Transportation in Niagara Region

Paul coordinated a workshop and drafted a report outlining key action steps for Niagara professionals.  The report and other informative presentations from the workshop are available HERE.

Report Cover Niagara

Analyzing Walkability Draft Report

A research report cataloging various methods for analyzing walkability with professional and stakeholder inputs. We would love to hear your comments or additions, email
DRAFT Document available HERE.

Report, Analyzing Walkability