Medical studies show that the way we design our work or study environments can have an impact on our health and well-being. While municipalities cannot do everything, they can help create healthy workplaces and learning environments. Do you want your workplace and your child’s place of study to be conducive to your health and well-being? Click on the themes to find out what commitments you should ask your candidates to make:
Promote my health and well-being at work
Green my workplace
Biophilic architecture is defined, among other things, as architecture that connects individuals to the outdoors by providing access to views of nature or natural elements. 169 Biophilic architecture improves employee well-being by reducing stress and inducing more positive emotional functioning, better concentration and faster mental recovery.170 This translates into multiple benefits for businesses: increased workforce productivity by 7-12%171, reduced mental fatigue by 10-25%172, reduced absenteeism by 19%173, and increased attraction and retention of qualified employees. 174
- Target 50: Require exterior walls with windows for all new office construction.
- Target 51: Require a minimum of one tree per 200 m2 of undeveloped land including outdoor parking areas for my workplace. 175
- Target 28: Aim for an optimal canopy cover of at least 40% of the urbanized area, following the example of Toronto176 and the signatories of the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities. 177
Support my child’s health and well-being at school
Green my child’s school
Biophilic architecture is defined, among other things, as architecture that connects individuals to outdoor conditions by providing access to views of nature or natural features. 178 Among students, green cover acts positively by reducing body mass index and increasing outdoor physical activity.179 Green spaces also have an impact on their mental health by reducing stress and promoting calmness, attention and concentration in the school environment, especially for students with attention deficit disorder. Medical studies have shown that green spaces near schools improve academic performance, 180 181 182 decrease depressive symptoms in adolescents,183 and reduce behavioral problems.184
- Target 51: Require a minimum of one tree per 200 m2 of undeveloped land including outdoor parking areas for my child’s school. 185
- Target 28: Aim for an optimal canopy cover of at least 40% of the urbanized area, following the example of Toronto186 and the signatories of the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities. 187
Always think about my health for projects close to my workplace or my child’s school
Conduct a health impact assessment188 on significant projects in a living environment
The way a neighborhood is developed has a major impact on the health of residents and health care costs.
- Target 23: Conduct a health impact assessment for any significant project in my neighborhood such as the extension or addition of a roadway, the destruction of a green space, the massive cutting of urban trees, the installation or expansion of a polluting industry, etc.
- Target 24: Choose design options that support my well-being and health and reduce health care costs.
- Target 25: Inform the public about the features and benefits of healthy urban design.