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PHO Grand Rounds: New software tools to measure health impacts of community design: Applying emerging evidence to decision-making
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:00 pm to 01:00 pm
Venue: 480 University Ave, Suite 300 Toronto, ON M5G 1V2 Boardroom 350
Research and Collaboration; Learning and development
City: Toronto
Format: In Person; Webinar

Note: This is an open invitation, and may be forwarded to interested parties

Evidence of systematic relationships between features of the built environment and health-related outcomes has been growing in recent years. However, the ability to directly apply this new knowledge to real world decision-making remains challenging. New evidence linking Canadian Community Health Survey and Transportation Tomorrow Survey participants with a new highly detailed built environment (walkability) surface developed for Toronto Public Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CLASP) initiative) are first conveyed. Then results are presented on case studies where a new software tool designed to conduct health impact assessment is presented. 

More information on the software tool, is available online or by reading the report A Health and Environment Enhanced Land Use Planning Tool – Highlights.

Finally, an overview of new evidence from the highly innovative NEWPATH study conducted for the Region of Waterloo and funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and CIHR will be presented. NEWPATH is the first study to link objectively measured physical activity and parcel level built environment data including pedestrian infrastructure, travel survey data, and dietary data together along with residential preference information and has considerable promise to support methodological advancement and knowledge in this area of research.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.

Presenter: Dr. Lawrence Frank

Dr. Lawrence Frank is a professor and director of the Health and Community Design Lab at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. He is cross-appointed with the School of Population and Public Health and specializes in the interaction between land use, travel behavior, air quality, and health. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Frank has been studying the effects of neighborhood walkability on travel patterns and sustainability. He has been lead author or co-author of dozens of papers and two books, Health and Community Design: The Impacts of The Built Environment on Physical Activity and Urban Sprawl and Public Health. 

Dr. Frank and his colleagues have also been conducting detailed assessments of fuel consumption and climate change impacts of urban form policies. Over the past decade, Dr. Frank has been working directly with local governments to help translate results from research into practice-based tools that can provide direct feedback on the health and environmental impacts of alternative transportation and land development proposals.


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