The Economic and Social Wellbeing Co-Benefits of Healthy Built Environments

Date(s) - April 4, 2017 - April 5, 2017
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

How Building Walkable Neighbourhoods Can Help to Build Stronger, More Economically Viable Places for All

Location: BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), 655 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver BC – Lane Level Lecture Hall 
Offsite participants, please click this link  to view the presentation live on April 4th

Presenters: Victoria Barr and Charito Gailling   

Summary of the talk:

This presentation will introduce the Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit, which summarizes research correlations between aspects of the built environment and specific health outcomes, and focuses on new findings related to two types of co-benefits: social wellbeing and economics.

The first part of the presentation will explore how built environments can play a significant role in fostering social wellbeing, in part by encouraging people to be ‘out and about’, meeting others and building important local relationships. The design of streets, pathways and public spaces can go a long way to supporting a strong sense of community and combatting isolation and loneliness. Developing complete and compact neighbourhoods in which residents can access shops and services via active transportation is vital, but so are seemingly ‘smaller’ strategies, like strategically locating park benches, playgrounds for children, or common entries for buildings. These strategies have been associated with stronger connections between people and the places they share.

The second half of the presentation will explore the important economic co-benefits of building complete, compact communities that encourage active transportation. More and more, local governments are recognizing that the planning principles needed to create healthy communities will also help to build communities that are economically stronger, boosting the local economy and saving money for both residents and governments. Protecting natural environments and open spaces within and outside of communities also has important economic implications.

Speaker Bios:

Victoria Barr is an independent Healthy Communities consultant with over 20 years’ experience in planning and research to build healthier, more resilient communities. Victoria’s work has focused on the ways in which community health and health equity is affected by policies in various areas of planning, including housing, transportation, and food systems. Victoria holds a Master’s degree in Health Promotion and a PhD in Planning.

Charito Gailling is a Project Manager with the Population and Public Health team at BC Centre for Disease Control.  Many of her current projects are focused on gathering research evidence about how our built and natural environments are linked to health, equity and well-being, and finding creative and interactive ways to share those learnings.  Charito holds a Master’s degree in Educational Studies, with a focus on social justice in education, and has worked with health promotion programs in PHSA and VCH for over 10 years. 

Host: BCCDC Public Health Grand Rounds is a self-approved group learning activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Offsite participants (MDs only) can earn MoC credits by notifying of their attendance providing their name, title, institution, email address & phone.

For those attending in person, please bring your own cup and enjoy a coffee or tea on us!

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