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Monitoring the impact of urban form changes on health and inequality: the INTERACT methodology


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Presented by Meridith Sones, MSc
Simon Fraser University

INTERACT has developed a mixed methods toolkit comprised of: an online conceptual mapping process for capturing stakeholders’ perceptions of local context; a geographic information system (GIS) platform for documenting changes to urban form; and tools for measuring impacts on population health and wellbeing, specifically, online health and spatial survey questionnaires, wearable sensors including accelerometers and GPS, a smartphone app physical activity and mobility tracker, and qualitative interview guides. The tools in the INTERACT Toolkit are intended to be transferable to other study sites while remaining flexible enough to be adapted to local needs.
Sones M, Winters M, Kestens Y, Fuller D, McKay H, Sims-Gould, J, Lewis P, Datta G, Wasfi R, Lord S, Morency C, Cantinotti M, Muhajarine N, Bell S, Stanley K, Nelson T. Monitoring the Impact of Urban Form Changes on Health and Inequality: The INTERACT Methodology. Oral presentation at: Cascadia conference; January 5 2018; Abbotsford, BC.

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Monitoring the impact of urban form changes on health and inequality: the INTERACT methodology

  1. 1. MONITORING THE IMPACT OF URBAN FORM CHANGES ON HEALTH AND INEQUALITY: THE INTERACT METHODOLOGY Meridith Sones, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University Manager, Knowledge Mobilization - INTERACT PhD Student – Cities, Health, and Active Transportation (CHATR) Lab
  2. 2. Our postal code is a powerful predictor of our health. Urban form influences: • Physical activity, social participation, wellbeing • Socio-geographic inequalities [Levasseur et al, 2015; Richard et al, 2013; Halpern, 2014, McCormack et al, 2014]
  3. 3. Scale: By 2030, an estimated 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. [WHO, 2016]
  4. 4. Burden: In Canada, 54% of adults are overweight or obese [CCHS, 2014]
  5. 5. Cost: The Canadian government is promising to spend over $180 billion on infrastructure over the next 12 years. What impact will these investments have on population health and health equity?
  6. 6. Call to action: “Unravelling the complexity of the impact of the built environment on population health lies in precision public health, which uses data to guide interventions to benefit populations more effectively.” Dr. Theresa Tam, CPHO Designing Healthy Living: Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2017
  7. 7. In partnership with cities and citizens, we harness big data to deliver timely public health intelligence on the influence of real world urban form interventions on health, wellbeing, and social inequalities— generating local evidence and action to advance the design of smart, sustainable, and healthier cities for all.
  8. 8. FOUR PROJECTS IN FOUR CITIES 1 3 4 2 Arbutus Greenway Vancouver, BC AAA Cycling Network Victoria, BC Bus Rapid Transit Saskatoon, SK Community Sustainability Plan Montreal, QC
  9. 9. The INTERACT Cohorts 250-2500 participants per site 3 main data collection time points
  10. 10. AIMS 1. Understand context of urban interventions. 2. Measure change in urban form and in population health. 3. Analyze impact of interventions on health, wellbeing, and related inequalities. 4. Mobilize knowledge to guide future decision- making.
  11. 11. Concept mapping Online spatial survey Mobile sensing Online health survey Wearable sensors Qualitative interviews THE INTERACT TOOLKIT
  12. 12. Tools & Methods: Concept Mapping • Concept Mapping web application called eKogito (Cantinotti et al.) • Documents and synthesizes views and perceptions of groups • Identifies divergence in views between subgroups • Helps identify priorities and strategies for planning and implementation of urban form interventions
  13. 13. Tools & Methods : Smartphone sensing • Collect sensor data from smartphones to capture physical activity, spatial location, and exposures. • Accelerometers, GPS • Developed for academic research by partner Stanley – Ethica Data • Real time data collection and analysis
  14. 14. Tools & Methods : Spatial survey • Using web application called VERITAS (Visualisation, Evaluation and Recording of Itineraries and Activity Spaces) • Collects self-report data on spatial and social patterns of participants • Frequency of social activities conducted out-of-home, activities conducted alone or with a contact, family member, friend, acquaintance or colleague • Allows social network analysis – social and socio-spatial networks
  15. 15. INTERACT offers an an innovative methodological framework to evaluate the health impact of real world urban form interventions, developing tools that can easily be deployed across cities and interventions.
  16. 16. Designing a dream city is easy. Rebuilding a living one takes imagination. - Jane Jacobs
  17. 17. Acknowledgements!