Public Health Speaks: Equity and the built environment
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The built environment encompasses all the man-made surroundings where we live, work, study and play. [1,2] In September 2018, The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) brought together three leaders in public health practice and research to share their experiences and reflections on public health practice and action to advance health equity through the built environment. 
This resource summarizes that conversation, facilitated by Dr. Teri Emrich, knowledge translation specialist at the NCCDH.
Expert panel on the built environment
The conversation included the following participants:
- Claire Gram, population health policy and projects lead, Vancouver Coastal Health
- Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, professor, Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, and director, Saskatchewan Population Health Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)
- Dr. Lisa Richards, medical officer of health, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
The contributors discuss their experiences bringing an equity lens to work in the built environment. They identify opportunities for public health to promote equity through the built environment, who to partner with and how to ensure public health has a seat at the planning table.
Practical actions and roles for public health in shaping a healthy, equitable built environment are also identified.
Use this resource to:
- identify potential partners for public health to collaborate with to promote equity through the built environment; and
- identify practical actions and roles for public health practitioners to promote equity through the built environment.
National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. Public Health Speaks: Equity and the Built Environment. Antigonish (NS): NCCDH, St Francis Xavier University (CA); 2018.
[1.] Public Health Agency of Canada. The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2017: Designing Healthy Living [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): PHAC; 2017 [cited 2018 Nov 14]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/chief-public-health-officer-reports-state-public-health-canada/2017-designing-healthy-living.html
[2.] Healthy Canada by Design CLASP. Health equity and community design: What is the Canadian evidence saying? Planning Healthy Communities Fact Sheet Series, No. 3. [Internet]. Healthy Canada by Design CLASP; [cited 2018 Nov 14]. Available from: https://www.cip-icu.ca/Files/Healthy-Communities/FACTSHEETS-Equity-FINALenglish.aspx
[3.] National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. Public Health Speaks: Equity and the Built Environment [Internet]. Antigonish (NS): NCCDH, St Francis Xavier University (CA); 2018. Available from: