July 24 | 2017

Regional Climate Projections of Extreme Heat Events in Nine Pilot Canadian Communities for Public Health Planning

Casati, B., Yagouti, A., Chaumont, D. (2013), JAMC, vol. 52, 2669:2698

https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0341.1

ABSTRACT: Public health planning needs the support of evidence-based information on current and future climate, which could be used by health professionals and decision makers to better understand and respond to the health impacts of extreme heat. Climate models provide information regarding the expected increase in temperatures and extreme heat events with climate change and can help predict the severity of future health impacts, which can be used in the public health sector for the development of adaptation strategies to reduce heat-related morbidity and mortality. This study analyzes the evolution of extreme temperature indices specifically defined to characterize heat events associated with health risks, in the context of a changing climate. The analysis is performed by using temperature projections from the Canadian Regional Climate Model.

 

July 17 | 2017

Large-scale physical activity data reveal worldwide activity inequality

Tim Althoff, Rok Sosič, Jennifer L. Hicks, Abby C. King, Scott L. Delp & Jure Leskovec., 2017.  Nature, Published online 10 July 2017.

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature23018.htmldoi:10.1038/nature23018

Using data captured from smartphones, researchers have amassed a dataset consisting of 68 million days of physical activity for 717,527 people to study activity across the globe.

As described in the abstract: “Aspects of the built environment, such as the walkability of a city, are associated with a smaller gender gap in activity and lower activity inequality. In more walkable cities, activity is greater throughout the day and throughout the week, across age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) groups, with the greatest increases in activity found for females. Our findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning and highlight the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health.”

 

 

 

July 10 | 2017

Exploring pathways linking greenspace to health: Theoretical and methodological guidance

Markevych, I., Schoierer, J., Hartig, T., Chudnovsky, A., Hystad, P., Dzhambov, A.M., de Vries, S., Triguero-Mas, M., Brauer, M., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J. and Lupp, G., 2017. Environmental Research, 158, pp.301-317.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2017.06.028

During an Expert Workshop held in September 2016, the evidence linking greenspace and health was reviewed from a transdisciplinary standpoint, with a particular focus on potential underlying biopsychosocial pathways and how these can be explored and organized to support policy-relevant population health research.

This Report provides guidance for further epidemiological research with the goal of creating new evidence upon which to develop policy recommendations.

 

 

July 3 | 2017

For your reading enjoyment! Watch for our new “Paper of the Week” posts. We will be highlighting papers authored by CANUE members as well as new articles of interest. If you would like to have your own paper featured, or suggest a paper that you find especially interesting, please send us a note at info@canue.ca.

Our inaugural selection is The Lancet’s series on Urban design, transport and health. Check out the three commentaries and the three papers that make up the series, and illustrate the importance and timeliness of CANUE and the memberships’ efforts to advance research on urban form and health.

Urban design: an important future force for health and wellbeing
Sabine Kleinert, Richard Horton

Healthier neighbourhoods through healthier parks
Bill de Blasio

Urban design and transport to promote healthy lives
Shifalika Goenka, Lars Bo Andersen

City planning and population health: a global challenge
Billie Giles-Corti, Anne Vernez-Moudon, Rodrigo Reis, Gavin Turrell, Andrew L Dannenberg, Hannah Badland, Sarah Foster, Melanie Lowe, James F Sallis, Mark Stevenson, Neville Owen

Land use, transport, and population health: estimating the health benefits of compact cities
Mark Stevenson, Jason Thompson, Thiago Hérick de Sá, Reid Ewing, Dinesh Mohan, Rod McClure, Ian Roberts, Geetam Tiwari, Billie Giles-Corti, Xiaoduan Sun, Mark Wallace, James Woodcock

Use of science to guide city planning policy and practice: how to achieve healthy and sustainable future cities
James F Sallis, Fiona Bull, Ricky Burdett, Lawrence D Frank, Peter Griffiths, Billie Giles-Corti, Mark Stevenson

GREENNESS TEAM MEETING | June 2017

ON June 20th, members of CANUE’s Greenness Team met by conference call to provide an update on current work and discuss a range of technical issues related to measuring greenness.

CANUE provided an overview – Presentation slides are available here: CANUE Green Metrics June 2017. Meeting notes are available here: CANUE Green Metrics Meeting Notes.

WEATHER AND CLIMATE UPDATE | May 2017

CANUE’s Weather and Climate team met on May 8th | 2017 to review their research program and upcoming activities. Meeting slides are available here (CANUE Weather and Climate Meeting May 8 2017) and include:

  • a brief overview of climate, weather and health linkages (Dr. Tim Takaro)
  • a description of the PAVICS platform (pavics2016_eng) currently under development by OURANOS which aims to improve access to weather and climate data in Canada(Diane Chaumont and Blaise Gauvin St-Denis)
  • a discussion of types of metrics that may be of interest and proposed next steps (Dr. Johan Feddema)

The near-term goal of the Weather and Climate team is to develop methods for producing weather and climate metrics using NRCAN’s 10km gridded dataset that may be relevant to human health, such as:

Base data

  • daily temperature – minimum, maximum, average, range
  • daily precipitation – total millimeters

Derived data

  • weekly, monthly and annual summary metrics
  • ‘health’ degree days – number of days above or below identified thresholds of high or low temperatures
  • potential and actual evapotranspiration – indicates wetness or dryness and may indicate flood potential

The 10km downscaled dataset from BC’s Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) was evaluated as well, however, modelled data after 2005 are not adjusted with observed levels and so may reflect model assumptions more than actual conditions.

Mahdi Shooshtari, CANUE’s Data Scientist, will be working with Diane Chaumont (Team Co-leader) and Blaise Gauvin St-Denis at OURANOS in early June to develop methods for producing indicators from the data holdings in PAVICS.

Visit the CANUE feedback page or Message Board to add your thoughts and advice!

WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS NOW AVAILABLE!

On December 7th and 8th | 2016, over 80 CANUE members gathered in Toronto for our inaugural workshop with the goal of building our strategic plan. Dr. Jeff Brook’s welcoming remarks, the Keynote Address by Harold Madi, and the Team presentations are now available on our YouTube channel.

CANUE WORKSHOP: BUILDING OUR STRATEGIC PLAN

We are gathering in Toronto on December 7th and 8th to formalize our plans for data development and sharing, environmental health research, and knowledge translation and exchange. Please join us by webcast to hear more about CANUE and our vision for the next five years.

CANUE SYMPOSIUM

CANUE SYMPOSIUM: URBAN ENVIRONMENT and HEALTH: NEW OPPORTUNITIES December 7th, 2016 – Dalla Lana School of Public Health | 10:00 – 11:30am eastern Walkability, noise, greenness and air pollution are some of the common features of the built environment that can have profound effects on human health. Please join us for this fascinating symposium on […]

From the Directors…

Welcome to CANUE!

We are very excited to be launching CANUE and our website. It has been a productive few months since our funding support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) started in June. We have an ambitious agenda for the rest of 2016 culminating in our first workshop in December when members and leadership will come together to exchange ideas and refine CANUE’s strategic plan.

Leading up to this point we have experienced a tremendous amount of excitement and willingness to work together throughout Canada, to join a team to break new ground in research and to have real and lasting impact. We are committed to building from this good will to realize as many of our collective ambitions for CANUE as possible while growing in membership and impact within Canada and internationally. We hope you’re on board for this ride and will spread the word to make sure CANUE is recognized and is responsive to the needs of as many stakeholders as possible.

CANUE truly represents an amazing opportunity to build a dynamic community in Canada that brings the best in urban environmental research and applications to the health research community, ultimately to support decision-making with public health in mind. We are hopeful that CANUE will enable and conduct highly relevant research on environmental factors, exposures or metrics and their links to health. Our goal is to empower our members, to foster collaboration, exchange and knowledge translation so that members and non-members alike clearly see our value-added and hence paddle hard to take CANUE to much success and well past our starting five-year time horizon.

Jeff Brook, PhD
Nominated PI and Scientific Director

Eleanor Setton, PhD
Managing Director