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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Community Design - Land Use Planning

In Ontario, land use planning is governed by the Planning Act which describes how land uses may be controlled. Under the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) provides overall policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. The PPS recognizes the complex inter-relationships between environmental, economic and social factors in land use planning.


The PPS policies focus on:

  • Building strong healthy communities
  • Wise use and management of resources
  • Protecting public health and safety

The PPS supports land use patterns that promote:

  • a mix of housing including affordable housing
  • employment
  • recreation, parks and open spaces and
  • transportation choices that increase the use of active transportation and transit over other modes of travel 1

Land use planning involves multiple stakeholders who play important roles in the design of healthy communities in both urban as well as rural settings.2 3

Land use planning stakeholders
can include:

Land owners Municipal committees
Real estate developers Municipal councils
Urban planners / designers Conservation authorities
Engineers Provincial ministries
Landscape architects Community members / organizations
Municipal service departments Public health

Official Plans

Each municipality has its own official plan that contains policies on how land should be used. Official plans for the City of London, Middlesex County and the municipalities within Middlesex County can be accessed by clicking on the following links.

Community Design - Role of Citizens

Land use planning is an important process that involves managing land and resources. It balances the interests of property owners with the interests and objectives of the entire community. The Citizens' Guides to Land-use Planning explain how the land use planning process works in Ontario and how you can be involved.4

Check out the How to Design a Healthy Community page.

Community Design - Role of Public Health

The Middlesex-London Health Unit, under the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), works with municipalities and community partners to create and enhance health supporting environments.5 Public health supports healthy community design through awareness raising, education, advocacy and policy development including but not limited to the following topic areas:

  • Physical Activity
  • Road Safety
  • Food and Healthy Eating
  • Sun Safety
  • Health Hazards
  • Health Equity
Land Use Planning

Active Community
Toolkit for Reviewing Development Plans

Image of London, ON

Download (PDF)


London and Middlesex County Municipalities

Map - London and Middlesex County Municipalities

Enlarge map →


Linking Health and the Built Environment in Rural Settings

Image of family biking on street

Download (PDF)

Role of Public Health
Date of creation: November 24, 2016
Last modified on: May 17, 2022


1Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (2020). Provincial Policy Statement, 2020: Under the Planning Act. Retrieved from
2Urban Land Institute. (2013). Intersections Health and the Built Environment Retrieved from
3Healthy Rural Communities Locally Driven Collaborative Team. (2015). Healthy Rural Communities Took Kit: A Guide for Rural Municipalities. Retrieved from
4Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (2021). Citizens’ Guides to Land-use Planning. Retrieved from
5Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2018) Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability. Retrieved from