Health Sciences Students Showcase Their Projects at Vancouver City Hall
Students from Professor Meghan Winters’ courses on health and the built environment showcased their final projects during CityStudio Vancouver’s Hubbub event which took place at Vancouver City Hall on April 10.
Students from the course HSCI 424/ 891 entitled Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Health spent the semester using mapping strategies to identify disease patterns and health risks. They used GIS software to analyze the Walk Score of several Vancouver neighbourhoods to help understand how to meet Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy goals.
“Walkable access to amenities like parks, restaurants and grocery stores are associated with increased levels of physical activity, perceived safety and other indicators of a higher quality of life,” explains Mandana Salimian, a Masters of Public Health candidate at SFU. Salimian and her classmates displayed a map which measured the walkability of a neighbourhood through the spatial dispersion of coffee shops, and shared their recommendations on how to improve the neighbourhood’s Walk Score.
Students from HSCI 472, a course on health and the built environment, were also at the Hubbub event to engage with City staff as well as faculty and students from other disciplines about the Metro Vancouver’s Transit and Transportation Referendum. With the aid of infographics and videos they created for their final assignments, they led conversations about the benefits of an improved transportation infrastructure in the region funded by an increased sales tax.
Both Professor Winters’ classes were taught in partnership with CityStudio, a unique and innovative program that brings City of Vancouver staff, students and community stakeholders together to conceive of innovative and experimental city design solutions. These solutions are aimed to inform Vancouver’s Greenest City, Healthy City and Engaged City strategies.
“The SFU-CityStudio courses are empowering. I now know that I have the ability to apply what I have learnt in the classroom to address challenges in the real world,” says Ericka-Jade Mulherin who participated in both courses. “The Hubbub event is a great avenue for sharing our work and for appreciating the initiatives led by our CityStudio peers.”