Healthy Community Guidelines



COMING SOON! The Healthy Community Guidelines are anticipated to be released in 2023. Please check back on this page.  

Created by University of Alberta Housing for Health working with 100+ multi-sector partners across Canadian provinces and the U.S., the Healthy Community Guidelines (HCG) provide multi-sector audiences with strategies to created healthier cities, towns, communities, and buildings. A healthy community includes good planning, design and operations to minimize key risk factors and maximize protective factors for today’s leading causes of death, disease, poor quality of life, and healthcare costs, particularly Non-Communicable Diseases such as heart disease and strokes, diabetes, cancers, mental health issues, and injuries. Many of these chronic conditions are also risk factors for severe infections and deaths from infections diseases such as COVID-19 and annual influenza. 

 Components of healthy cities/communities are:

  • Physical activity, including active transportation, active recreation and active mobility
  • Healthier diets/healthy food and beverage environments
  • Social connections and inclusion

 Target audiences:

  • Planners
  • Developers
  • Home builders
  • Urban designers
  • Architects and landscape architects
  • Interior designers
  • Engineers
  • Facility managers
  • Health professionals
  • Policymakers
  • Residents involved in neighborhood planning and development

 A Closer Look at the Healthy Community Guidelines:

These guidelines supplement available frameworks by providing evidence- and practice-informed strategies. Multi-sector professionals as well as community residents can use these strategies for improving their community environments to protect, promote, and maintain health and wellbeing. This list of practical strategies can be used to improve healthiness and safety of a variety of spaces, including neighbourhoods, streets, buildings and campuses and their amenities such as housing, shops, parks, leisure facilities, institutions like schools, transportation systems, etc. The sections of the guidelines are divided into three scales: Neighbourhood, Site, and Building. Each scale contains strategies that can be implemented to improve our environments for three priority health-protecting factors today: physical activity (including active transportation, active recreation and active mobility), healthy food and beverage environments, and social connections and inclusion.