Solutions Network: Urban Design for Better Health

Preventing chronic disease through smart, built-environment policy solutions

In Progress

Neighbourhoods and Health

Solutions Networks

MAP has launched 10 collaborative solutions networks with a common goal: to effect real-world social change by co-designing and demonstrating what works to address critical urban health challenges in our communities. Learn more


Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, have reached crisis level in recent decades. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, and diabetes is seventh.

However, these conditions are often avoidable. Research shows that healthy urban design (i.e. neighbourhoods designed to promote physical activity and access to healthy food and resources) can be one of the most effective means of chronic disease prevention.

The Solution

Although there is an appetite for — and strong evidence to support —policy change to promote health through the built environment, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Policy makers need tools (e.g. data maps, predictive models, report cards) to help them weigh the potential health benefits of different policy options for different contexts, and to assess how much investment is required in order to make a meaningful impact on the health of a population.

Our network, which includes policy makers and experts in the health effects of urban design, is co-designing these kinds of tools. Our goal is to facilitate smart built-environment policy decisions — turning strong evidence into healthy cities.

Neighbourhoods and Health

Solutions Networks

Dr. Gillian Booth

A practicing endocrinologist, Dr. Gillian Booth investigates the socioeconomic, environmental and health-care factors behind Canada's diabetes epidemic.

Investigators

Contact Info

Linh Luong

Research Coordinator