We are a team of researchers lead by Dr. Meghan Winters (Simon Fraser University), Dr. Marie-Soleil Cloutier (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique), Dr. Daniel Fuller (University of Saskatchewan), city planners and community groups, looking to catalyze the implementation of sustainable transportation interventions to support health, mobility, and equity outcomes in cities across Canada.
Active transport and public transit are critical to providing accessible and affordable physical activity as part of everyday life, and improving population health. However, the car remains dominant, with walking, cycling, and public transit rates low, in part due to widespread concerns about safety as well as a lack of supportive infrastructure. Without major changes, cities will struggle to meet ambitious targets for sustainable transportation set in response to congestion and the climate crisis.
The window for action is now, as the federal government launches its first National Active Transportation Strategy, with $400M for active transportation infrastructure, and $14.9 B for public transit over the next 8 years. However, there is very limited research examining how these large-scale healthy cities investments go from funding programs to actual changes in the urban environment. Implementation science allows us to understand methods and approaches to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice and research into regular use by practitioners and policymakers. The field of implementation science seeks to systematically close the gap between what we know and what we do (often referred to as the know-do gap) by identifying and addressing the barriers that slow or halt the uptake of proven health interventions and evidence-based practices.
Our overall goal is to catalyze the implementation of sustainable transportation interventions to support health, mobility, and equity outcomes in cities. We primarily focus on two pillars of sustainable transportation interventions – All Ages and Abilities (AAA) bicycle networks and speed reduction interventions – which serve as implementation science case studies. Our Canadian and Australian team will extend intersectoral partnerships, build capacity, and develop tools to advance healthy cities implementation science, working toward this goal through the following objectives: