Active Streets, Active People Senior

Active Streets, Active People Senior

“An integrated community partnership to promote health and mobility in older adults”

The aging of our population challenges cities to respond to the needs of older adults who wish to live longer in their communities, despite inevitable age-related declines in mobility and health. There is strong evidence linking health outcomes to features of the built environment (urban design elements and access to services and amenities). The evidence shows that people living in more walkable environments are more active than those living in less walkable ones. However, few studies to date have looked at older adults’ mobility and health over time. Professor Heather McKay, Co-Principal investigator for the study says “research that improves our understanding of the relation between the built environment and older adult health and mobility will ultimately help us discern what built environment features best support older adults to ‘age in place’ – in their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.”

Community interaction, collaboration and studies that have short, medium and long term impact are the cornerstone of Active Streets, Active People Senior.  Ultimately, the Active Streets, Active People Senior team aims to promote solutions toward creating neighbourhoods that are healthy places for people to grow old.

Principal Investigator: Heather McKay
Lead Researchers: Joanie Sims-Gould, Meghan Winters
Project Manager: Suzanne Therrien

Active Streets, Active People (ASAP) is an innovative project undertaken to evaluate the influence of social and built environments on the mobility of vancouver residents.  Mobility contributes significantly to the health of people of all ages and early evidence suggests that built and social environments interact to impact this health outcome.  Active Streets, Active People looks at the built and social environments of three different groups: youth (ASAP Junior), older adults (ASAP Senior) and older adults born outside of Canada (ASAP Foreign Born). 

ASAP is funded by the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative (PWSI) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).  The interdisciplinary ASAP team is based at the University of British Columbia, the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Department of Gerontology at Simon Fraser University and spans the social to applied sciences.