Mentorship to support implementation of Active Design
Since October 2012, the Region of Peel (Peel) in Canada has contracted with the Center for Active Design to assist it in exploring ways to promote healthier lifestyles.
Staff of the Center began the project by developing a scope of work to meet the end goals and needs of Peel. This included provisions for providing ongoing support, mentorship, trainings, and consultation for the development of Peel’s “Healthy Peel by Design” initiative. The Center facilitated mentorship relationships that connected Peel leadership and staff with experts in the field of Active Design via workshops, on-call assistance, and advisory discussions.
highlights from this work:
- Support for local symposium. To support the inaugural “Healthy Peel by Design” Symposium, the Center arranged for a panel of experts to present on key initiatives connecting health and the built environment. The Center also planned and facilitated topical workshops for networking and knowledge sharing.
- Consultation with Peel work groups. The Center supported Peel staff via monthly teleconferences to develop communication plans, policy initiatives, program support, and evaluation methodology. Specific initiatives included the developing cafeteria food standards, increasing access to stairs, and promoting well-designed playgrounds.
- Completion of policy review. The Center completed an analysis of Peel’s Affordable Housing Guidelines and Standards document, providing methodology for inclusion of health-promoting design strategies.
- Creation of leadership exchange program. The Center developed a leadership exchange program for Peel’s elected councilors and agency heads. The multi-day event comprised attending the NYC FitCity conference, networking with local leadership, and touring implemented urban design and building projects.
- Development of innovative design interventions. The Center managed the implementation of a pilot demonstration project to encourage outdoor physical activity among staff and visitors at the Peel Regional office. The project scope included advocating for healthy design interventions with Peel’s Health and Facilities staff, managing the development of a design intervention with SCAPE / Landscape Architecture, and ensuring its timely completion through the design and construction phases.
The project with the Region of Peel was successful in increasing the knowledge base of local officials, leadership, and staff. The Center trained Peel staff on the content and facts behind health-promoting design, its impact on health, and on the process by which staff could facilitate workshops and trainings for other staff members and agencies. This crucial aspect of the program was key in creating new advocates for healthier design within the Region of Peel. The project also created networking opportunities and collaborative work sessions between the Peel staff and other regional and muncipal agencies.
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