There is an old saying that the bicycle is a simple solution to some of society’s most complicated problems.

As world leaders look for ways to address the dual crises of climate change and COVID-19, the expansion of cycling and walking networks has emerged as a viable urban solution that can help all of us feel healthy and socially connected while staying safely apart and out of our cars.

But while a lot of time and money is spent designing and building sustainable urban infrastructure, we actually know very little about how these investments impact health and wellbeing at a local level – including who benefits and how.

A Canadian research group is attempting to answer these questions, and they need your help. INTERACT is a national collaboration of scientists, public health experts and urban planners that is using big data to uncover whether the design of our cities can make us healthier and happier. Since its launch in 2018, INTERACT has been engaging with thousands of Canadians across four cities to evaluate the health impacts of real-world urban design interventions that represent an investment of more than $225 million.

In Vancouver, the team is looking at how developments like the Arbutus Greenway can influence public health and wellbeing, and right now they are actively recruiting participants. If you live in Kitsilano, then INTERACT wants to hear from you!

Research activities are all done with the ease of a computer or mobile device, and participants will be entered to win one of ten $50 VISA gift cards. To learn more about our study and how you can help to advance science on healthy urban development in Vancouver and beyond, visit www.teaminteract.ca/vancouver.

Last modified: August 28, 2020

6 Responses to " Can We Make Vancouver Healthier By Design? Help Local Researchers Find Out "

  1. Martin Kent says:

    Health? Really? No cyclist will stop at a stop sign, so the community negligence shows the health black hole. With few children obeying traffic laws, the city and it’s residents are creepily ignoring healthy community habits – during a pandemic. During an emergency, the civic responsibilities expected to materialize, are absent. Family cyclists are unaware of the danger of mass negligence, during an emergency and our politicians are quiet, eh.

  2. James says:

    Care to provide some evidence for your claims, Martin? The point of the survey mentioned in the article is facilitate evidence-based decision making in urban design. Maybe you could take inspiration from their approach and research your opinion before posting it online.

  3. Martin Kent says:

    Yes, there are stop signs in Vancouver where nobody stops when there is no oncoming traffic, so everyone and the youth ignore the law. I have the permission from the city and the police to affix a large pink sign on my bike and place it next to a stop sign. This sign says zero percentage stop sign. I convinced the Mayor of Victoria to post these rates at stop signs with reader boards and I then contacted the public works departments in the capitals down the coast, to assist and partake, which they did. Next to the police station and city hall the compliance rates when there is no oncoming traffic is zero. I used to see this during the Children’s Festival, when it was held at Vanier Park and now these kids are adults. I am an expert on stop signs and traffic safety. I am the CEO of the Organization of BC Traffic Safety and the Law-abiding Commonwealth Capital City Streets and Communities and Institutions Association. I am very pleased the Mayor of Sacramento and his Public Works Department love the idea of digital stop signs that will show the up to the minute daily percentage of vehicles actually stopping in Silicon Valley!

  4. Shirley says:

    I enjoy all the green walkways. They need to be wider like point grey rd. Too narrow and the bike way too close. Cyclists are too fast and often rude. W6th and Arbutus greenway needs more signage for cyclists to slow down and watch for pedestrians. It’s angled and actually difficult for a pedestrian to look both ways. When you do, all clear and a cyclist pops up and nearly runs you over. But otherwise it’s fantastic! Keep adding more walkways.

  5. Martin Kent says:

    I’m going to be down at Arbutus and Creelman on Labour Day. I am going to prop up a sign on a bike, next to the stop sign going south. It is a 5 by 41/2 feet pink sign that says 0% stop sign, to show that no one stops, unless there is oncoming traffic. Children and families ignore this stop sign all year long. The zero percentage sign is with permission of the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police. I have recently convinced the four west coast capitals, to introduce electronic reader boards at some stop signs, to encourage better behavior at their intersections. Vancouver finds that too expensive, so I thought I would roll out neighbourhood feedback, to children at risk! I have a YouTube Video called “Does your momma stop at stop signs?” and another called “Do Mothers stop at stop signs? The World Health Organization thinks that this is long overdue and I that think out poor traffic habits, are causing our poor pandemic habits to be overlooked. High ICBC rates due to mass disobedience to the Motor Vehicle Act and children are entering the Children’s Hospital with traffic injuries? Really? A virus that finds British Columbians who have poor safety habits and lingers. If we had community customs like civic responsibility and community safety customs like traffic laws, our children would see adults obeying traffic rules and pandemic rules. This Labour Day, let’s see what the World Health Organization Road Safety Office unveils at Arbutus and Creelman! (They suggested we are uninterested in traffic safety and thought it’s creepy that our government has not convinced us, that law-abiding streets and highways are valuable. With our high ICBC rates, you know our Vancouver custom is to ignore traffic rules when it’s convenient and to teach how real Canadians raise their children.)

  6. Martin Kent says:

    I went down to Creelman and Arbutus on Labour Day, with a large sign that said “zero percent stop sign” and it was true, nobody stopped. The hundreds of children that blew the stop signs with their parents was distressing. With no one obeying traffic rules, I would assume there is an emergency. With ALL the children blowing stop signs with their parents, I assume the admission of children to the Children’s Hospital from bike accidents, is avoidable. With total disregard for law and child safety our governments are lying about public safety, due to allowing politics prevent the truth about mass disobedience to the Motor Vehicle Act, which kills Canadians.

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