3rd Annual Fit Cities Fit Towns Canada Conference - May 30 & 31, 2023

Dr. Karen Lee, Housing for Health in the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, and its partners were pleased to host our Fit Cities Fit Towns Canada 3rd Annual Conference.

Participants learned about practical ways to impact community environments for health and wellbeing, and innovative strategies to improve our buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and their amenities for health.

This conference introduced the Healthy Community Guidelines: an evidence-based practice-informed Guidelines co-created by over 100 multi-sector partners across 6 provinces in Canada.  The Guidelines highlight strategies at 3 scales, i.e. Neighbourhood, Site, and Building, that can improve healthy living.

Conference presentations and discussions, with videos linked below, provide enhanced knowledge and skills for healthier planning, development, design, and construction in our towns and cities provincially and nationally. Presentations featured international, national and local speakers on panels at Neighbourhood, Site, and Building scales. International speakers included Gehl and LK Policy Lab.  


Conference Recordings

Day 1 - May 30, 2023

Dr Karen Lee - Welcomes, Opening Remarks and Prayers

Mosom Rick Lighting, Elder in Residence for Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta 

Dr. Jason Acker, Associate Vice-President (Research Integrity and Support), University of Alberta, on behalf of Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek

His Worship Mayor Bob Young, Mayor of Leduc

His Worship Mayor Tom Pickard, Mayor of Whitecourt

Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Dan Huang, President, Canadian Institute of Planners

Housing for Health Presentation, Dr. Karen Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Director, Housing for Health, and Associate Professor, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta; Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Heath Services

Keynote Panel 1 (NEIGHBOURHOOD)

Sofie Kvist, Architect MAA, Cand. Arch, Project Lead, Gehl

- International Case Studies for Healthy Community Guidelines (HCG) Strategies (Built Environments for Active Living, Healthy Food and Beverage Access, Social Connections)

Celia Lee, MEDes, Executive Director, Sustainable Calgary 

Joyce Tang, BES, MLA, CSLA, RPP, MCIP Leader of Greater Downtown and Community Revitalization, City of Calgary

- YYC Playbook and Other Initiatives

Robert Lipka, RPP, MCIP, Principal Urban Designer, City of Edmonton + Daniel VriendBSc, Director, Planning and Scheduling, Edmonton Transit, City of Edmonton

- Improving Urban Design and Transit in Edmonton (Including HCG, Safety, Inclusive Design)

Communities Choose Well (Breanna Morin, BA, Program Officer of Engagement & Reconciliation + Emilia Grindlay, BSc., Program Officer, Healthy Eating & Partnerships + Patrick MacQuarrie, BA, Program Officer, Impact and Storytelling 

  • Smaller and Indigenous Community Strategies for Improving Active Living and Healthy Eating
Q&A with Panel and Moderator (NEIGHBOURHOOD)

- Q&A moderated by Dr. Kate Storey, PhD, CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Chair & Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

Closing Remarks/Summary, Day 1

Dr. Sebastian Straube, BM BCh, MA (Oxon), DPhil, Professor and Division Director, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta


Day 2 - May 31, 2023


Dr. Narmin Kassam, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Her Worship Mayor Cathy Heron, Mayor of St. Albert, and President, Alberta Municipalities

Dr. Laura McDougall, Senior MOH, Provincial Public and Population Health, Alberta Health Services

Henry Edgar, Vice Chair, Urban Development Institute

Martin Sampson, CEO, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association

Keynote Panel 2 (SITE)

Jonathan Rockliff, AAA, MRAIC, BArch., Principal Architect, Rockliff Pierzchajlo Kroman Architects Ltd. 

- GEF Seniors Housing - Lauderdale Terrace Pilot Development Site (Seniors Affordable Housing)

Karen Wilk, DDiv., Former President, Laurier Heights Community League

- Community Food/Fruit Forest

Susan Carter, LID, BID, LEED® AP, Partner, Designer, DIALOG + Jill Robertson, BSc, MLA, OALA, LEED® AP ND, Partner, Landscape Architect, DIALOG

- Mixed-Use and Retail Improvement in Both Larger and Smaller AB Communities

Tom Alston, Senior Project Director, Alberta Health Services + Shauna Kuiper, Planning Supervisor, City of Edmonton

- New SW Edmonton Hospital

Q&A with Panel and Moderator (SITE)

- Q&A moderated by Dr. Lisa Allen Scott, Ph.D., Director, Healthy Settings, Promoting Health, Alberta Health Services

Keynote Panel 3 (BUILDING)

Laurie Kerr, FAIA, LEED AP, President, LK POLICY LAB

- Municipal Policies Internationally to Synergize Sustainable and Healthy Buildings, and Opportunities Through Certification Systems such as LEED

Katie Kohlenberg, BSc., WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C, LEED Green Rater, Lean Yellow Belt, Director of Operations, Senior IPD Coach and Senior Sustainability Project Lead, EcoAmmo Sustainable Consulting Inc.

- Buildings Incorporating Healthy Community Guidelines Strategies including those using WELL Building Certification (e.g. Institutional Buildings in Canada)

Cathryn Chopko Beck, Director | Sr. Practice Lead, Urban Design / Planning + Doug Sollows, FRAIC, AIBC, AAA, SAA, Assoc. AIA, Arcadis

- Residential Buildings in Suburban Neighbourhoods in the Metropolitan Edmonton Area, including Housing for Health Mixed-Income Pilot Development in Leduc

Q&A with Panel and Moderator (BUILDING)

- Q&A moderated by Dr. Eleni Stroulia, PhD, Director of AI4Society Signature Area, Acting Vice Dean & Professor in Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

Closing Remarks & Prayers

Dr. Richard Lewanczuk, MD, FRCPC, Co-Chair, Department of Medicine Determinants of Health Working Group & Professor, University of Alberta; Senior Medical Director, Health System Integration at Alberta Health Services

Mosom Rick Lighting, Elder in Residence, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

Dr Karen Lee, Conference Closing