The Built Environment: Your Ottawa Neighbourhood & Determinants of Health
Projects and initiatives within the City of Ottawa, such as the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031, or the Complete Street project, aim to promote healthy neighbourhood design for all residents. Research regarding the built environment features that impact health and safety of all Ottawa residents is necessary to support equally accessible, evidence-driven policy change.
To date, few studies have examined multiple features of the built environment, using both objective and subjective measures, and their influence on physical health, mental health, and perceived safety of residents, particularly in the Ottawa context. Few Ottawa-based studies have specifically analyzed these associations for populations of people with mobility restrictions, seniors, and parents with young children (under 5 years). These populations account for a large portion of the Ottawa adult residents, andexperience unique challenges compared to other adults. Safe, comfortable, and convenient access to community destinations and public places, for all individuals regardless of ability, age, or family relations.
The BEYOND-Health Study aimed to investigate the relationship between particular built environment features and physical and mental health, and perceived safety. The features that we examined in urban Ottawa residents included: physical features (i.e., sidewalks, bike lanes, roadways, lighting, street furniture), environmental features (i.e., green space, traffic), and other miscellaneous features (i.e., proximity to amenities, transportation preference).
This study by graduate students at Carleton University from the department of Health Sciences, with means to provide their stakeholders with the significant data needed to inform public policies related to healthy street design in Ottawa.
Read More About the Study Here!
Or watch the summary of the study!
Photo Images by Trevor Pritchard, and Michael Nugent respectively