Design and Health Canada 2010: Global Perspectives, Local Identities

Design & Health Canada 2010 is an international symposium dedicated to exploring global perspectives on enhancing health, well-being and quality of life within the local context of healthy communities and infrastructure development in Canada. The event takes place from June 7-8, 2010 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, University of Toronto.


The World Health Organization’s first International Conference on Health Promotion in Canada in 1986 presented the Ottawa Charter, which defined health promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase and to improve their health, reaching a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.


In 1997, the World Health Organization identified that the “Health Arena,” including priority settings and frequently used spaces such as the workplace, schools, hospitals, correctional institutions, commercial offices, public spaces within our towns and cities, and indeed our homes, should be at the centre of health promotion activities in the 21st century.


From a research perspective, health can be understood from either a pathogenic or a salutogenic starting point. Pathogenic research focuses on explaining why certain etiological factors cause disease and how they are developed in the physiological organism. The primary aim of pathogenic research is often to find medical treatments.


Salutogenic research is based on identifying wellness factors that maintain and promote health, rather than investigating factors that cause disease. Together, the salutogenic and the pathogenic approach offer a deeper knowledge and understanding of health and disease.


A new paradigm that recognizes that human health is significantly related to the designed environment is needed. A “salutogenic approach” to health infrastructure development embedded at the core of a public health strategy focused on preventative care, changes the focus from risk factors and the treatment of disease to a more holistic understanding of healthy environments.


A focus on health and wellbeing can be used to inspire innovative design and infrastructure solutions that facilitate an active lifestyle and enable the successful management of physical, psychological and emotional stress in our daily lives.


Design & Health Canada 2010 will explore global “salutogenic” perspectives on the planning, procurement, finance, design, construction and operation of health facilities in the region. The symposium will discuss how “salutogenic approaches” to health infrastructure development in Canada can provide a more cost-effective context for enhancing human health, wellbeing and quality of life.


Objectives of the symposium are:


• to evaluate different international models of care, health theories and perspectives

• to reflect on the socio-economic factors impacting on Canadian health infrastructure development

• to learn about regional service models of health-care services delivering real and measurable benefits in the region

• to assess the development of specialist care services, such as mental health and elderly care


To register, please visit