This summer was one of the hottest on record – especially in Canadian cities – and the accelerating rate of climate change means future summers will be hotter for longer, leading to increased heat-related deaths and health issues. By the middle of the century, the number of days over 30℃ will double in Canada. One of the key ways cities can respond to climate change and mitigate the effects of extreme heat in cities and promote better health is to create more green space, which cools the air and promotes better physical and mental health.
This webinar will:
- Review the physical and mental health impacts of green space
- Discuss how green space can help cities adapt to the effects of climate change
- Explore policies and investments cities could enact to accelerate the expansion of green space
About the speaker:
Matilda van den Bosch is an Associated Researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain and an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia.
She investigates how environmental exposures, for example, urban green spaces, can influence various aspects of human health and how we can create healthier cities.
Activities in her lab include regulating urban ecosystem services, such as heat reduction with an impact on heat-related morbidity and mortality, as well as cultural services from urban nature, for example, increased physical activity and stress recovery. Much of the research focuses on linkages between various types of land-use data and health mediators or outcomes. Another project is looking at the mental health impacts of deforestation in low-and middle-income countries.
As co-leader of the greenness team within the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE), she is part of a team developing greenness metrics across Canada for linking to various health cohorts.
Whether you live in a walkable community with access to green space or in a car-dependent community close to pollution emitters can have an outsize influence on your health outcomes, and maps closely with income and societal privilege. Addressing these kinds of environmental inequities, if done correctly, can provide health, environmental and economic co-benefits. But, if we want healthier, cleaner and more equitable communities, we will need data-driven solutions. This talk will explain how nationally standardized datasets are fueling a renaissance in environmental health research, how data can be used to identify environmental health inequities in Canadian cities and highlight tools that public health professionals will be able to use to operationalize insights and address inequities in the built environment.
About the presenters:
Scientific Director and Nominated Principal Investigator
Jeffrey Brook has 25 years of experience as an Environment Canada scientist working at the science-policy interface. During this time he spent 15 years as faculty at the University of Toronto, where he was involved in research, lecturing and graduate student training. He is one of Canada’s leading experts in air quality, recognized at all levels of government and academically, including for his substantial contributions in air pollution health research. Dr. Brook has led scientific assessments to inform policy nationally and internationally, and advised multi-stakeholder groups shaping policy. He has led a variety of multi-disciplinary research teams in government, government-academic partnerships and in academia. Recently his efforts have expanded beyond air quality, for example for 8 years he has led the Environmental Working Group of the Canadian Health Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study and co-led the Gene x Environment Research Platform within the AllerGen Network of Centres of Excellence.
As an Adjunct Associate Professor (2008- 2016), Eleanor most recently acted as Co-Director of the Spatial Sciences Research Lab (SSRL) at the University of Victoria. This role involved managing the SSRL grants, staff, and students, and conducting a range of research related to spatial aspects of exposure to environmental pollutants as a PI or Co-PI. Of particular value to CANUE is Dr. Setton’s expertise in population-level environmental exposure assessment; direct experience working with large spatial and tabular datasets related to land use, pollutant emissions and socio-economic characteristics; and developing knowledge translation products about cancer and the environment.
Data Linkage Lead and Special Projects Manager
Dany Doiron is a Research Associate at the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. Dany has a Masters degree in Public Policy from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Basel. Prior to joining CANUE, Dany worked with Maelstrom Research, helping epidemiological research consortia in Canada and Europe implement innovative solutions to facilitate multi-centre data integration and co-analysis. Since 2016, Dany provides expertise in linking environmental data to confidential health databases for CANUE. He currently acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Cohort of Obstructive Lung Disease (CanCOLD), a large population-based cohort dedicated to better understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Dany’s research focuses on the respiratory health effects of outdoor air pollution exposure.
This summer, record-breaking hot temperatures in British Columbia were met with a higher-than-average number of wildfires across the province. Extremely hot days caused by climate change are expected to lead to longer wildfire seasons which will burn larger areas, and public health officials will need to adapt their existing advice for prolonged smoky periods.
This webinar will:
- Review trends and population health impacts of extreme heat and forest fires
- Explain how the built environment can contribute to and protect against extreme heat and wildfire smoke exposure in cities
- Explore local and national policy options to reduce harmful effects of extreme heat and wildfire smoke exposure
About the presenter:
Sarah Henderson is a Scientific Director in Environmental Health Services at BCCDC. She is also an Associate Professor in the UBC School of Population & Public Health.
Dr. Henderson leads a program of applied research and surveillance to support evidence-based policy for the province. This role requires her to be a generalist rather than a specialist and her work spans a wide range of topics, including air pollution from all provincially relevant sources (wildfire smoke, residential woodsmoke, industry, road dust, shipping, and vehicles), extreme weather events, radon gas, food safety, water quality, and exposures managed by the Drug and Poison Information Centre (DPIC). All of her work integrates large environmental datasets with large human health dataset from multiple sources, and she views data science as a key competency in environmental health.
Check out the Panel presentations, Discussion and Data Teams videos!