The city is looking for your input at Ottawa.ca/NewOP by February 17th, 2020.
The City has developed 21 different one-page fact sheets to give people a general sense of the topics the OP will address. During the next couple of months, I will be highlighting these topics in the my weekly bulletin. Click here to view all the topics covered up to this issue.
Supportive physical and social environments provide a foundation for a more pandemic-resilient city.
There has been a shift in how people live, work, and interact with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. As people spend more time at home, there is a renewed awareness of the features and amenities in their own neighbourhoods and the gaps that would improve their livability.
Impacts are not equally distributed among society.
There are bigger impacts on people who are more vulnerable and experiencing socio-economic inequities. This highlights the importance of reducing inequities and planning communities for everyone in order to support a pandemic-resilient future. This includes supportive urban design and placemaking that fosters strong social connections and inclusion.
Transmissibility of COVID-19 is related to crowding and social practices rather than density.
COVID-19 can spread quickly in all types of communities. Transmission can occur in all densities as people come into contact with others through daily life and social practices. The biggest transmission challenges are in places where people must share resources, such as retirement homes, households, or in workplaces.
15-minute neighbourhoods support pandemic resiliency.
The pandemic has emphasized that people need access to outdoor physical activity, local services, and the ability to support neighbours and community members within their neighbourhoods, all of which are facilitated by creating denser communities with a range of land-uses.
People need local sustainable transportation options during pandemics, including safe walking and biking. They need affordable and suitable housing within neighbourhoods.
Exposure and access to nature and greenspaces are key in promoting physical and mental health in pandemics. They extend our living spaces, promote positive feelings and reduce stress, while offering shade, refuge from extreme heat, opportunities for physical activities and connections with others.
These are all factors that improve livability during pandemics. And these are all characteristics of 15-minute neighbourhoods, which are a foundational building block for building healthy communities through the new OP.