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Research Proposal


Literature Review

Healthy Rural Communities: Strategies and Models of Practice

Principle Researcher: Dr. W.J. Caldwell, Professor,

School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

University of Guelph


Research Team: Paul Kraehling, Jennifer Huff, Suzanna Kaptur


With support from:

Elgin St. Thomas Public Health

Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit


Executive Summary

The purpose of the project is to identify evidence-informed strategies and models of practice for land use planning policies, procedures and designs for the built environment to improve population health outcomes in rural communities. It has been identified that these communities often have limited resources and minimal development. Through the use of a literature search, descriptive surveys, key informant interviews and focus groups, this project will outline healthy land use planning policies and effective community design practices that are also feasible in rural communities.


This project will result in the development and distribution of a toolkit to advise public health professionals, land use planners, municipal staff and elected officials of effective strategies and models of practice. The toolkit will also identify rural land use policies that have successfully increased the capacity of the community to achieve positive health outcomes and prevented adverse health outcomes as a result of developments in the built environment.