Built environment

Universal Accessibility: Designing Environments for All

Universal accessibility is defined as "the character of a product, process, service, informational element or environment that, with equity and inclusiveness in mind, enables any person to perform activities independently and achieve equivalent results”.

Reference framework

Actions to optimize the use and design of outdoor recreational facilities

This issue of OPUS focuses on outdoor recreational facilities, specifically facilities that are freely accessible to the public, are not reserved for members of an organization, enable the practice of recreational or sports activities and meet the needs of residents. Recreational areas such as splash parks (with the exception of swimming pools and wading pools), sports fields, walking areas and bicycle paths included in parks and green spaces are just a few examples. This issue is intended…

Reference framework

Housing and Social Inequalities in Health in Times of COVID-19: Strategies for Promoting Affordable Quality Housing

This document begins with a review of how housing can influence the health and quality of life of its occupants. It then presents the findings on the impact of housing on the health of the Québec population during the COVID-19 period. As a response to this impact, this report proposes strategies for improving housing conditions and reducing social inequalities in health, starting with specific actions that can support households whose housing conditions have become increasingly unstable…

Rapid knowledge synthesis

COVID-19: Safe Use of Urban Parks and Green Spaces During Gradual Lockdown Lifting

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines to support the use of parks and green spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. It reviews the main health benefits of green spaces and the basic principles to be respected to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in these areas. The document also presents promising initiatives put forward by municipalities in Québec, Canada and elsewhere in the world aimed at promoting the safe and optimal use of parks and green spaces. Finally, some…

Rapid knowledge synthesis

Best Spatial Planning Practices to Prevent the Effects of Environmental Noise on Health and Quality of Life

There are many sources of noise, which increase the difficulty of mitigating the effects. Some examples are noise from road and air traffic, as well as rail noise, noise from port (harbor) facilities or from construction sites. Land-use planning and management are some effective and key noise control and mitigation measures. These measures are planned and implemented by regional county municipalities (RCM), municipalities and proponents. There are various best environmental noise mitigation…
Professional practice guidelines

Making the man-made environment favourable for safe bike-riding!

Whether for recreation or transportation, safe bike-riding is the result of interactions between individuals’ and environments’ characteristics, including natural elements, as well as man-made and developed elements. This TOPO’s main objective is to present the results of scientific writings concerning the association between the man-made environment, bike-riding and cyclist safety.

Some elements of the man-made environment promote safe bike-riding and thereby contribute to…

Synthesis and summary

The Food Environment Around Public Schools and the Consumption of Junk Food for Lunch by Québec Secondary School Students

In Québec, more than half (52%) of secondary school students had not eaten junk food for lunch during the week preceding the study, while a little less than half (48%) had eaten junk food for lunch one or more times. Close to 40% of students in Québec public secondary schools have access to at least two fast-food restaurants within 750 metres. Consumption of junk food two or more times per week is associated with obesity and other negative health measures among young people. The…
Research report, study and analysis

The Built Environment Around Schools and the Lifestyle Habits of Young People: State of Knowledge and Québec Overview

Highlights :

Most scientific studies show meaningful connections between the characteristics of the built environment and the eating habits, physical activity and body weight of young people. The factor that appears to be most closely associated with students' weight and eating habits is the density of convenience stores and fast food restaurants in the vicinity of the school. The characteristics of the built environment that have the greatest influence on physical…
Knowledge review

Road Diets: Healthier Pubic Ways

This briefing note introduces the road diet, an engineering technique that reallocates space on a street or road for other uses when they are over-built and have excess lanes. In what follows, we will present a definition, some study results and practical implementation considerations for road diets.

When applied with consideration for contextual details, it is generally agreed that road diets provide significant safety benefits for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Synthesis and summary

Urban Traffic Calming and Health Inequalities: Effects and Implications for Practice

This document is the final one in a series of five documents based on a literature review published in 2011. The four previous documents compared the effects of two approaches to urban traffic calming – the black-spots approach and the area-wide approach – on four determinants of health: road safety, air quality, environmental noise and active transportation. In this document, we will examine the effects of these same two approaches (described below) on health inequalities. This will enable…

Synthesis and summary