CANUE will bring together a diverse group of experts and knowledge users at an inaugural workshop in 2017. This workshop will focus on developing a clear set of values and a Strategic Plan, which will be implemented and refined through ongoing member engagement.
The CANUE project will enhance existing collaborations with Toronto Public Health that investigate both heat and airborne allergens. This work will use regional or global climate models to develop plausible future climate scenarios. One of our team members is developing a software platform that will allow users to access tailored climate scenarios. This software will be available in the public domain and used by CANUE. Our work will also leverage links to the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC, a regional climate service centre at the University of Victoria), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Health Canada.
Recent studies suggest that urban greenness is associated with increased physical activity, reduced deaths from obesity, and lower risk of adverse birth outcomes. Research also shows links between greenness and socio-demographic factors both at individual and neighborhood levels. This indicates that wealthier people, who are already in a good health state, may be more-likely to choose – and afford to live near – green spaces. Health inequalities related to socioeconomic status appear smaller in green areas, however, suggesting a buffering effect. Additional research is needed to better understand how equity or neighborhood measures of socio-demographic status interact with available greenness to affect human health.
Estimates show that approximately 10,000 premature deaths are attributed to fine particulate matter (PM) alone. This exposure is also linked to loss of more than one third of a year of life expectancy. Although efforts to reduce exposure to air pollution have been successful – between 2000-2011 levels lowered by almost 25% in Canada – exposure to air pollutants such as PM remains a burden for chronic disease. Efforts to reduce air pollution are ongoing and an essential consideration in urban planning and policy.