Daniel R. Y. Gan

Postdoctoral Fellow (On Leave)

Room: HC 2800



PhD (NUS); MArch (NUS); BA (NUS)

Research Interests

Community gerontology


Daniel is a planner and community geropsychologist, with expertise in Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) and place-based interventions for equity especially among older adults in affordable housing or less advantaged neighborhoods. He completed an interdisciplinary PhD in the broad areas of Environmental Health and Aging/Urban Studies and Gerontology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Centre for Ageing Research in the Environment (CARE) with co-supervision from Psychological Medicine faculty using advanced quantitative and mixed methods. He publishes widely and has given numerous invited lectures. Visit his website here:

At SFU Gerontology, Daniel validated the Transdisciplinary Neighbourhood Health Framework (Gan, 2017) and extended it to include brain health. He examined data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) using advanced quantitative approaches. His CMHC-CIHR Fellowship in Urban Housing+Health “Brain Health in Community” is the winner of the 2021 CIHR-IA Research Excellence Prize. He presented his research in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Guangzhou, Indianapolis, London, Oxford, Singapore, and Vancouver. Daniel serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health. He is founding convener of a Community-Engaged Research interest group, Gerontological Society of America.

Daniel taught Masters and senior undergraduate courses. He is routinely invited to speak on place-based methodological innovations for community impact, e.g., at the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. His research outputs have won several awards, including GSA ESPO Interdisciplinary Paper Award, Douglas Holmes Honorable Mention, and SFU PDA Poster Prize, and has been described as “both theoretical and practical.” Catch his latest public presentations here:;

Daniel is currently working to pilot BC Preventive Social Prescribing as a Researcher-in-Residence (RiR) at the City of Kamloops in partnership with Thompson Rivers University. Learn more about the award-winning RiR program here:

Selected Publications


  • Gan, D. R. Y., & Ellard, C. (2022). Looking Back, Imagining Forward: Whither Urban Design and Mental Health?. Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, 8(1).
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Wister, A., & Best, J. R. (2022). Environmental Influences of Life Satisfaction and Depressive Symptoms Among Older Adults with Multimorbidity: Path Analysis Through Loneliness in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The Gerontologist.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Cheng, G. H.-L., Ng, T. P., Gwee, X., Soh, C. Y., Fung, J. C., & Cho, I. S. (2022). Neighborhood Makes or Breaks Active Ageing? Findings from Cross-Sectional Path Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6), 3695.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Mahmood, A., Routhier, F., & Mortenson, W. B. (2022). Walk/wheelability: An inclusive instrument-pair for participatory aging-friendly research and practice. The Gerontologist.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., & Best, J. R. (2021). Prior social contact prior and mental health trajectories during COVID-19: Neighborhood friendship protects vulnerable older adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(19), 9999;
  • Best, J. R., Gan, D. R. Y.,  Wister, A., & Cosco, T. D., (2021). Age and sex trends in depressive symptoms across middle and older adulthood: Comparison of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to American and European data. Journal of Affective Disorders, 295, 1169-1176.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Chaudhury, H., Mann, J., & Wister, A. (2021). Dementia-friendly neighborhood and the built environment: A scoping review. The Gerontologist.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Fung, J. C., & Cho, I. S. (2021). Neighborhood atmosphere modifies the eudaimonic impact of cohesion and friendship among older adults: A multilevel mixed-methods study. Social Science and Medicine, 270, 113682.
  • Gan, D. R. Y., Fung, J. C., & Cho, I. S. (2020). Neighbourhood experiences of people over age 50: Factor structure and validity of a scale. The Gerontologist, 60(8), e559-e571.
  • Gan, D. R. Y. (2017). Neighborhood effects for aging in place: a transdisciplinary framework toward health-promoting settings. Housing and Society, 44(1-2), 79-113.