Transforming Urban Form for Mobility: Interventions to improve population health

Governments are making major investments in transit, cycling, and walking infrastructure to alleviate the pressures of traffic congestion and emissions. These changes may have lasting impacts on population health.

The aim of this five-year program is to generate new evidence on the impact of population health interventions on health and health equity along two lines:

  1. “Population Health Intervention Research” will generate new knowledge on the impact of population-level interventions on mobility.
  2. “Methods and Tools for Intersectoral Action” will develop and apply novel methods and tools to study urban form, and to facilitate uptake by intersectoral stakeholders.

This work aims to generate new, locally-relevant evidence in order to understand how to enhance health and mobility in mid-size cities and suburbs. While these settings are very common in Canada, they are surprisingly absent from the literature.


The program will assess how changes to urban form, such as new cycling networks or education programs, influence how people choose to travel, and how safety-conscious and active they are. This will be studied in the population overall, and also specifically with groups facing greater mobility challenges (e.g. women, new immigrants, older adults). The work will focus on how an investment in a city-wide cycling network for people of all ages and abilities impacts uptake, safety and equity.