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Using HEAT, our assessment identified the potential health and economic benefits of increased walking in St. John’s, NL. City-specific data inputs on population demographics, physical activity, and air pollution exposure were used to calculate estimates of premature deaths prevented, carbon emissions reduced, and health-economic impacts. Our objective was to estimate the benefit-cost ratio of potential walking infrastructure investments and provide recommendations for city council to promote and support a walkable St. John’s.

Our main analysis evaluated the health-economic impact of doubling the mode share of walking in St. John’s from 4.6% to 9.2% – an increase of 3 minutes per person per day of walking. We estimated the economic benefit to be $117,656,000 and the health benefit to be 18 premature deaths prevented over a 10-year period. If $3 million were invested annually, the benefit-cost ratio would be 4 – meaning that the benefit would be 4 times greater than the cost. These results are largely driven by physical activity benefits and premature deaths prevented, rather than carbon emission reductions. A variety of sensitivity analyses highlighted which data inputs had the most significant effect on assessed outcomes. These were the time horizon, the value of statistical life, and the walking mode share target.

The Bike Network Design Jam was held on September 22, 2018 at the Memorial University Signal Hill Campus in conjunction with the Happy City Neighbourhood Summit. Fourteen people participated in the Design Jam. There were 3 objectives for the day

  • Design a fully connected bike network for the Avalon
  • Define 3 priority projects for the City of St. John’s new cycling plan
  • Define pain points for cycling in the City of St. John’s

Overall, participants were optimistic that their plan would increase cycling in St. John’s and promote more sustainable transportation by encouraging people to combine cycling with transit. The designs show what a true connected cycling network could look like in St. John’s and on the Avalon.

Health is an important value for Canadians. Chronic disease, physical inactivity and obesity are high (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016). Advances in technology, including mobile apps, have provided researchers with new ways to collect data. The purpose of this paper is to understand how researchers have developed apps for population health research. The first objective of this paper is to understand the development process for population health research apps. The second objective is to provide recommendations for researchers who are planning to develop population health research apps.