Projects: Livable Cities
“Transformative Youth Public Spaces in Hanoi Mexico Montreal and Paris” is a collaborative research project that will comparatively examine how youth use physical and digital public spaces and the consequences on regulation and governance. Most specifically, we will focus on understanding what is considered “transgressive”, as well as how and who attempts to control such transgressions. The team is made up of interdisciplinary researchers and students, multimedia artists, social workers, city professionals and young people from Hanoi, Mexico City, Paris and Montreal.
There are three main thematic objectives:…
The health of the Bangladeshi population is greatly affected by the state of its cities. As Bangladesh tries to tackle major problems such as climate change, non-communicable diseases, road safey, water pollution, noise pollution and air pollution, ensuring cities are livable is critically important. This program, implemented by HealthBridge partner Work for a Better Bangladesh, focuses on achieving outcomes in three main areas:
- Pedestrian Rights - Pedestrians are of vital importance to a city and yet they face many obstacles to moving safely, easily and conveniently. WBB is working with local groups to advocate for…
HealthBridge’s local partner in India, the Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF), focuses on improving the quality of life for children in urban areas. There vision for the Livable Cities program is:
“We want happy and healthy children and families in every neighborhood who have safe streets, free access to parks, playgrounds, open spaces and fun places to play.”
Currently there are programs in Bangalore, Nagpur, Thrissur, Calicut, Kochi, Trivandrum and Malappuram which are centred on three main areas:
- Healthy Transportation - Ensuring people have…
HealthBridge Vietnam (HBV) focuses on making urban neighbourhoods more livable and conducive to healthy lifestyles. Its three main areas of work are:
Access to Parks and Public Spaces – The number of safe, accessible and fun public spaces in Vietnamese cities has been steadily decreasing, while the public is increasingly demanding that governments create and maintain public spaces. However, without a clear strategic vision, many city governments lack the resources and capacity to develop public spaces to meet these demands. HBV’s activities include research and pilot projects, as well as working with local groups and…
This program, implemented by HealthBridge partner Public Spaces for All, focuses on achieving outcomes in three main areas:
- Pedestrian Rights - Walking is an unsafe, unpleasant experience in Niamey as there are no footpaths on most of the roads and where they do exist, they are of low quality materials, degraded and/or occupied for other purposes. Peaceful Roads is working with local government officials and parliamentarians to ensure all future development plans have specific measures to encourage walking.
- Parks and Open Public Spaces - Parks are important areas for physical activity and…
The number of safe, accessible and enjoyable public spaces in Ugandan cities is steadily decreasing, while the public increasingly demands that governments create and maintain public spaces. However, without a clear strategic vision, many city governments lack the resources and capacity to develop public spaces to meet these demands.
HealthBridge, along with our local partner Advocates for Public Spaces (APS), conducted two studies to determine the availability and quality of parks and informal spaces for active recreation in Uganda's capital city, Kampala. The studies recommended a public dialogue on how to improve the infrastructure…
In line with the New Urban Agenda, CFI Trust in partnership with HealthBridge envisaged the Livable cities project focusing on improving the conversation around urban planning and its relationship with the Non-Communicable Diseases in India.
The variety of spaces in Ghana’s capital city Accra, which may be termed parks, include natural, planted or open spaces set aside for public recreation, enjoyment, social interaction and information. However, government statements, the press, public opinion, research papers and anecdotal evidence would suggest that the city’s park infrastructure is inadequate, often inaccessible, underutilized, undervalued and characterized by poor stewardship.
HealthBridge’s partner, Mmofra Foundation, is focused on understanding the current park situation in Accra as this understanding will be an important spark for more effective engagement on parks between government,…
Tanzania, as with other low-income countries, is facing important challenges as a result of the growth of cities. Studies show that the way cities are built impacts people’s: risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), risk of injury, exposure to air pollution, vulnerability to the effects of climate change, ability to be gainfully employed, ability to interact and build relationships with neighbours. As Tanzania tackles these major urban problems, it is important to ensure that cities are livable.
Through this program, HealthBridge and our our partner Urban Planning for Community Change (UPC) will implement innovative projects based…
The overall objective of the project is is to significantly improve urban road safety and reduce traffic fatalities in Vietnamese cities, with a focus on HCM city and Hanoi
Specific objectives are to support the national agencies and municipal governments of HCM city and Hanoi in:
- Improving traffic safety for a BRT project in HCMC;
- Improving traffic safety around school in Hanoi;
- Improving understanding about road safety in HCM City and Hanoi and at the National level;
- Strengthening capacity within concerned local government agencies of HCM City and…
The overall goal of the project is to improve the life quality of residents in Tan Mai ward and livelihoods of female vendors through redesigning and improving an open street market. In order to achieve this goal, we will achieve the following objectives:
- Improve the accessibility, inclusiveness, safety, hygiene and sanitation of a street market in Tan Mai ward, Hanoi city.
- Increase the participation of the community and female vendors in designing, improving and maintaining the street market in the ward.
- Increase the awareness and the capacity of local government…
HealthBridge’s partner in Nepal is Digo Bikas Institute (DBI). DBI works to ensure people’s rights to health and improving the health of urban residents. DBI currently focuses on streets as public space.
Streets – ensuring people have pleasant and safe places to walk is important for health. It reduces injury rates, can increase physical activity levels, and decrease the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancers and diabetes. Safe streets also encourage people to move about outside, and provide more opportunities for neighbours…
In 2015, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was selected for the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). HCMC will receive support from the World Resource Institute (WRI) for a period of 5 years (2015-2019) on key road safety initiatives, spanning road engineering, traffic enforcement, crash data management, road safety communication.
The Road Safety Project in HCMC is focused on the areas of Safer Streets and Safer Mobility. HealthBridge Vietnam is the implementing partner for this project. The overall objective of the project is to significantly improve urban road safety and reduce traffic fatalities in…
HealthBridge’s partner in Nepal is the Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC). It focuses on ensuring people’s rights to health and improving the health of urban residents. RECPHEC’s three current priorities are:
- Access to Healthy Transportation – Ensuring people have pleasant, safe places to walk is important for health. It reduces injury rates and can increase physical activity levels, decreasing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). (NCDs include cancers and diabetes). Such places also encourage people to move about outside, and provide more opportunities for neighbours…
The Ottawa-based Healthy Transportation Coalition is a grassroots movement of concerned citizens, organizations and businesses working together to increase active, affordable and safe transportation choices in Ottawa. Its goal is to ensure that walking, cycling and public transit are among the priorities of Canada's capital city. Its current 4-year project focuses on increasing opportunities for vulnerable populations to travel safely and conveniently throughout the city.
HealthBridge's partner, Mount Meru University, is doing a study that will assess the quality of public parks and pedestrian spaces in Arusha, Tanzania. Specifically, this research intends to:
- identify and map all available public parks in Arusha;
- analyze the quality of the pedestrian environments around all public parks in Arusha;
- assess the accessibility and pedestrian environment/infrastructure around public parks in Arusha; and,
- examine the types of uses, and users, of public parks in Arusha.
This information will be used to help the city council and…
Providing public spaces where youth can flourish is a tall order for the Vietnamese capital. This rapidly urbanizing Asian city combines some of the world’s highest densities with very limited formally-planned public spaces. Bringing together Canadian and Vietnamese researchers and HealthBridge, this study tackles the issue of youths and public space in Hanoi with the hope of contributing to the positive engagement of young Hanoians with the city where they live. In this research, we provide a picture of the evolution of public spaces in the region (in terms of overall spatial distribution, available areas, quality, and…
Uganda’s densely populated slums suffer from a shortage of formal public spaces for everyday life. The spaces that are available are very informal and serve a multitude of activities, such as children’s play, commerce and socializing. In many cases these informal spaces are in a poor state, which makes them unsafe for children to play. In addition, because these spaces are informal they are not protected and could be taken away from the community and used for other purposes. Our research project, conducted in 2014, examined the quality and availability of public spaces in Kampala and…
HealthBridge’s partner, Peaceful Roads, is focusing on creating the conditions of a successful implementation of the Livable Cities program in Niger. The livable cities program in Niger will be focused on ensuring access to healthy transportation, access to parks and public spaces, and access to healthy foods. But, in order to achieve success with the Livable Cities program, political and decision-maker support is needed. This short-term project was intended to mobilize support at the local, municipal, and national level.
Étude sur la situation des piétons à Niamey, Niger
HealthBridge’s partner, Peaceful Roads, is focusing on the quality of the pedestrian environment in Niamey. As in many rapidly growing cities, the local government is examining transportation closely; however, this does not always translate into a focus on pedestrian safety.
To better understand the current situation, Peaceful Roads carried out a study – centred on the main commercial area in Niamey – to determine how easily, safely and comfortably pedestrians can walk in the city. They identified, described, and mapped…
Study on Public Space in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
HealthBridge focused on understanding the qualities of the Mount Lavinia beach, a highly successful linear neighbourhood park, in order to provide input into public space policies in Sri Lanka.
The overall goal was to contribute to the discussion on public spaces currently underway in Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on ensuring that public spaces encouraged a wide range of activities. These included various forms of physical activity, socializing and economic activities. In addition, the study identified attributes that attract a wide range of users…
Public Parks in Uganda
HealthBridge’s partner, the Non-Communicable Information and Control Centre (NICC), is focused on understanding the availability and quality of parks in Kampala City. As in many rapidly growing cities, a number of Kampala’s parks are being encroached on by private developers. In addition, little is known about the park situation in the outer divisions of the city, where low-income families live.
NICC carried out a study to help start a public conversation on how to protect open spaces and parks for the people. They identified, described, and mapped…
HealthBridge implemented pilot public space projects in three African cities to create improved local policies, plans and designs for safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces.
Public spaces, such as open public spaces, markets, and streets in low and middle-income countries are used for public life, commerce and interaction. However, lack of funds, planning, and maintenance, as well as priority for motorized vehicles, has turned many public spaces into unsafe, unforgiving and unconnected places. In order to address this problem, we implemented pilot public space projects in:
- Africa – Accra, Ghana; Niamey, Niger; and Kampala, Uganda
- Asia – Dhaka, Bangladesh; Calicut and Kochi, India; HoiAn, Vietnam;
- South America …
Apart from sexy taglines used by different political regimes to make Colombo a world class city, the city cannot provide formal housing for 50% of its population. They live in self built settlements and enormously cater to the smooth functioning of the city on everyday basis.
Low-cost, Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Neighbourhood Public Spaces in Tan Mai Ward, Hanoi, Vietnam
The project works intensively in one ward in Hanoi, Vietnam in order to demonstrate how a variety of small interventions can create better quality public spaces. Ultimately the project will impact the quality of life for residents of Tan Mai ward and improve migrant women’s integration into the city. The specific objectives include:
- To increase number of inclusive, safe and accessible community spaces in Tan Mai ward, particularly for women, migrants and disabled children
- To increase the community’s participation in designing, constructing and maintaining community spaces in Tan Mai…
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our relationship with our streets and public spaces. The imposed restriction on movement has been disrupting normal life. And, although these restrictions are absolutely necessary to prevent the worst public health outcomes from becoming a reality, it is nonetheless disproportionately hurting many of the communities in which we work. However, public spaces continue to play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities. Parks, playgrounds and plazas are needed to provide people with the necessary activity and fresh air to stay health; local public markets continue to provide people with essential food; and streets continue to act as both spaces for recreation and as mobility corridors for those workers deemed essential.
Establishing Comprehensive Bicycle Plan and Free/low-cost Bicycle Sharing Program in Hoi An city, Vietnam
In 2018, HealthBridge’s Livable Cities team, together with the City of Hoi An government, won the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) Global Urban Mobility Challenge award. The award recognizes a new Livable Cities project that is designed to solve both road safety and public health issues by developing a comprehensive plan for green, sustainable transportation that focuses on cyclists in Hoi An, the World Heritage Site in Vietnam.
- Increase road safety
- Improve public health
- Promote the local economy
- Improve the environment
- Enhance equity<…