The webinar will begin with a brief description of how the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is contributing, alongside other important partners, to addressing the built environment through its Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease Program, highlighting two recently funded interventions that are aiming to improve healthy living outcomes of residents in urban settings by transforming elements of the built environment. PHAC is pleased to make a unique contribution to this important policy area.

Following this, Professor Colin Ellard, a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, will speak about the psychology of urban and architectural design. Specifically, he will describe some of the methods he is using to measure how pedestrians respond both emotionally and physiologically to different urban environments based on field studies that his team has conducted. Findings from these studies suggest that we are exquisitely sensitive to variables in our built environments, including façade styles, the presence of urban greenspace, and street geometry. He will further argue that the sensitivity of our cognitive and emotional states to our surroundings has implications for public health and presents opportunities for promoting health through healthy built environment interventions.

This webinar is hosted by the Centre for Disease Prevention (CCDP) & Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC).