Smart Cities research featured in CJPH supplement

February 28, 2013

The work of Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine of SPHERU features prominently in a recent edition of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.

The November/December 2012 issue includes a supplement with several articles on studies such as Muhajarine’s Smart Cities, Healthy Kids project, which examine built environment and its effect on health.

In the foreword, Built Environment Health Research: The Time Is Now for a Canadian Network of Excellence, he writes: “We need new research, especially as it relates to Canadian cities, to indicate which policy-driven built environmental factors are the most important contributors to obesity.”

Muhajarine co-authors a number of articles in the issue:

Smart Cities, Healthy Kids: The Association Between Neighbourhood Design and Children’s Physical Activity and Time Spent Sedentary – This article outlines the multi-year, multi-phase project that examines the relationship between the design of neighbourhoods in Saskatoon and children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The activity was measured by accelerometry.

Walkable for Whom? Examining the Role of the Built Environment on the Neighbourhood-based Physical Activity of Children – Also part of the Smart Cities study, this qualitative portion was the result of semi-structured child-parent interviews. These examined the factors helped or hindered physical activity of children, particularly ones such as safety.

Coming to Consensus on Policy to Create Supportive Built Environments and Community Design – This commentary resulted from an April 2011 conference addressing the environmental determinants of obesity. It points to a consensus of next steps to make built environments support active living, such as empowering local planners to encourage developments that promote activity and healthy food options, accessing stable funding to promote activity and active transportation, and evaluating the effectiveness of built environment program in order to identify successful interventions.

The Canadian Journal of Public Health supplement features research from across the country, such as the evaluation of a community walking map project in Edmonton, a study looking at risk and how it affects cycling in Toronto and Vancouver, a look at associations between children’s diets and residential and school neighbourhood food environments in Quebec, and an examination of physical activity and nutrition among youth in Halifax.


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