The Partnership Working Group creates opportunities for our partners to learn more about, share their respective multi-sector expertise in, and co-develop and implement cross-sector initiatives for healthier communities.  Meeting two or three times each year, Partnership Working Group members can get updates on the Housing for Health project; learn more about creating healthy communities through presentations from partners and guest speakers who have expertise on built environment innovations and health issues;  provide input to the Housing for Health project; collaborate on the creation of built environment-related resources; informally share their sector-specific knowledge and expertise; and network with one another.

The Partnership Working Group has over 200 partners from multiple different sectors across cities, towns, provinces, and the nation. Current members come from Industry (developers, architects, landscape architects and designers, planning firms), Multiple Levels of Government (municipal, regional, provincial, and federal), Academia, Health Care Organizations and Health Professionals (Geriatricians, Family Physicians, Nurses, Public Health Inspectors, Dietitians), Professional and Trade Organizations (eg. Canadian Home Builders Association, Canadian Institute of Planners, Alberta Professional Planners Institute, Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA)), Community Organizations (eg. Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and individual community leagues).

Currently Active Subcommittees include:

  • Healthy Community Guidelines Subcommittee - over 100 partners are currently working together to create a document with strategies to plan, design, develop, build, renovate, and maintain healthier and safer housing and neighbourhoods for supporting active living, healthy food and beverage access, and social connections.  Subgroups work together on strategies for: Neighbourhoods and Streets, Healthier Buildings, Healthy Food Environments, Social Connections, and Smaller and Rural Municipalities. The Guidelines are anticipated to be completed later in 2021.
  • Research and Evaluation Subcommittee - multiple faculties at University of Alberta and other universities are giving inputs into Housing for Health research projects as well as working together to identify new areas for expanded research.
  • Conference Planning Subcommittee - interested partners join this subcommittee to help plan the Annual Fit Cities Fit Towns Conferences.

To join our Partnership or a Subcommittee, please contact our Partnership Coordinator at


One goal of the Housing for Health project is to change how communities and their residents understand the relationship between their community environment and their health. The focus of our Community Engagement is to share knowledge on the link between neighbourhood design and health impacts, and support local champions to improve their community environments for active living, healthy food access and social connections.

In Edmonton, our Community Engagement activities are delivered in partnership with local Community Leagues. EFCL Website

In Whitecourt, our Community Engagement activities are delivered in partnership with existing community partnerships and initiatives such as the Reducing the Impact of Financial Strain (RIFS) Committee.

We are also working with other communities interested in partnering on healthy community engagement workshops and solutions.  

If you are interested in working with our team, please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator at


As part of the Housing for Health project, our team hosts Healthy Community Workshops with our community partners. The goal of the Healthy Community Workshops is to hear the interests and needs of community members, and together create ideas for improving local spaces to enhance health. Community members help to choose an idea that can be tested in their neighbourhood on a temporary basis as a pilot community intervention towards more permanent solutions to improve health and well-being, and help the people in that community or neighbourhood to thrive.

Join us as we work in partnership with communities to generate new ideas and solutions to build a healthier environment.

To learn more about the Healthy Community Workshops, please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator at


As part of the Housing for Health project, our team is testing different ideas and short-term projects for changing our community environments. One goal is to demonstrate what is possible - and quickly and easily implementable - in local spaces when we re-imagine our communities for health.

In partnership with various community organizations, the Housing for Health team tests different pilot ideas for improving community environments for health. In the spirit of tactical urbanism (please see, these pilot projects are short-term pop-ups to help communities to experiment with health-promoting changes to their neighbourhoods. The pop-up method helps to create real change in communities rapidly. It also helps us to collect input on the pilot project from residents and learn more about people’s experiences with these new ideas.

All temporary pop-up projects will be designed and brought to life with the help of community volunteers brought together by our partner community groups and organizations. If you are interested in getting involved, please sign up on our Volunteer page.


In collaboration with the Christenson Group of Companies, the Housing for Health team and partners are providing evidence-based and multi-sector practice-based strategies and recommendations to integrate into two pilot development sites to help create healthier environments for residents.

The two pilot developments are:

  1. Southwoods in Edmonton (medium to large city setting, population ~1 million) – an infill site located in the Hazeldean neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alberta.
  2. Whitecourt (small town setting, population ~10,000) – a greenfield site located in Whitecourt, Alberta.

 The sites will help the Housing for Health project and partners better understand feasible solutions in urban versus rural settings.  The Housing for Health team is collaborating with the two sites' architects, landscape designers and site planners to provide suggestions to create healthy environments for development and neighbourhood residents.  At Southwoods, a zoning amendment has been obtained to allow for mixed use opportunities on the housing development site.

 A previously active Pilot Development Subcommittee provided opportunities for interested members of the Partnership Working Group to contribute ideas for improving the building, site and neighbourhood of the two pilot developments. The ideas have been shared with our pilot development partners, along with additional evidence-based strategies identified by the Housing for Health team.  

The ideas generated by the Pilot Development Subcommittee included strategies to encourage:

  • Active transportation
  • Recreational physical activity
  • Access to healthy foods and beverages
  • Increased social connections

Some examples of the ideas shared with pilot development partners include:

  • Smooth and wide sidewalks for accessibility
  • Inclusion of heated sidewalks or sidewalk railings on walking paths and sidewalks serving older populations
  • Indoor gym with weights, treadmill, and other gym equipment
  • Indoor and/or outdoor community garden for residents
  • Multi-use paths that lead to grocery stores, Farmer’s Markets, and other healthy destinations
  • Secure bicycle racks
  • A bicycle share program
  • A car share program

If you have an innovative project that you are working on and are interested in looking for ways to partner with us, please contact our Partnership Coordinator at