NDC Travels to…Banff

NDC Deputy Director Briony Hynson attended the Active Living Research Conference at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity this month, presenting research entitled “Activating Public Spaces for Play: Opportunities for the Built Environment as a therapeutic tool in Neighborhoods Exposed to High Levels of Community Violence.” The research was conducted in partnership with Gwen Brown (BUILD), Colin Lyman, (The 6th Branch) and Dr. Carol Vidal (Johns Hopkins University), and supported in part by grants from the Urban Health Institute and the Robert W Deutsch Foundation. 

With the Canadian Rockies as an inspiring backdrop, temps down to -12degrees F kept conference attendees mainly indoors and focused at the 4-day convening. Practitioners and researchers from the fields of public health and planning explored a wide range of content. Here are Hynson’s top 5 picks from the conference:

Active Living Research Conference: Top 5 Sessions

  1. LA DOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds’ keynote on the future-proofing transportation (hint; it takes self driving cars AND road ‘buffets’ AND arts and creativity.
  2.  Simon O’Byrne of City of Edmonton’s approach to become a top WINTER city, using design.  And iceskates.
  3.  Poster Sessions!  So many smarts in one room.  
  4.  Salud America’s campaign to encourage shared use agreements, so that communities can access public land at schools outside of school time.
  5. Measuring Inclusion in Place with Gehl Institute’s Jennifer Gardner and Andrea Marpillero-Colomina, and Baltimore’s own Prof. Keisha Pollock

All in all, a great gathering of researchers, planners and public health experts. One last takeaway; every single round of applause at the Active Living Conference was a standing ovation, because (as research shows), sitting kills.