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).

Key Subcommittees:

  • Healthy Community Guidelines Subcommittee - over 100 partners have worked together  to create a document with practically feasible 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. Scientific evidence reviews have also been conducted on these strategies in the Guidelines. Subgroups have worked together on strategies for: Neighbourhoods and Streets, Healthier Buildings, Healthy Food Environments, Social Connections, Smaller and Rural Municipalities, Indigenous Health and Wellbeing, and People of All Abilities. The Guidelines have been completed and released in 2023. See the Healthy Community Guidelines webpage for more information. They are also available at
  • Research and Evaluation Subcommittee - multiple faculties at University of Alberta and other universities have given inputs into Housing for Health research projects and have been working together to identify new areas for expanded research. Please see Publications webpage for the list of publications.
  • Conference Planning Subcommittee - interested partners have joined this subcommittee to help plan the three Annual Fit Cities Fit Towns Canada Conferences in 2021, 2022, and 2023. 


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 partnered with local Community Leagues. EFCL Website

In Whitecourt, our Community Engagement activities partnered with initiatives such as the Reducing the Impact of Financial Strain (RIFS) Committee.



As part of the Housing for Health project, our team held Healthy Community Workshops with our community partners. The Healthy Community Workshops built on 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.



As part of the Housing for Health project, our team worked with different ideas and short-term projects for changing our community environments. One goal has been 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 tested different pilot ideas for improving community environments for health. In the spirit of tactical urbanism (please see, these pilot projects were 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. Valubale input on the pilot project was collected from residents to learn more about people’s experiences with these new ideas.

All temporary pop-up projects were designed and brought to life with the help of community volunteers brought together by our partner community groups and organizations. 


In collaboration with the Christenson Group of Companies, Fillmore Construction and the Greater Edmonton Foundation, the Housing for Health team and partners provided evidence-based and multi-sector practice-based strategies and recommendations to integrate into several pilot development sites to help create healthier environments for residents. 

Pilot development sites included rural/smaller community, suburban, and urban environments that offered market rate, mixed-income, and affordable housing options. The various sites around Alberta helped the Housing for Health project and partners better understand feasible solutions in urban, suburban and rural/smaller community settings. 

For pilot development intervention sites, the Housing for Health team collaborated with architects, landscape designers and site planners to provide suggestions to create healthy environments for development and neighbourhood residents.  Strategies were created to encourage: 

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

Example strategies for improvement included:

  • 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 are interested in learning more about the ways through which buildings, sites, and neighbourhoods can influence one's physical activity, healthy eating, and social connections, please email us at Also see the Healthy Community Guidelines webpage, or visit