Flash Reviews

INTERACT produces flash reviews to inform decisions on the concepts, measures and instruments we use. Flash reviews allow us to focus on a particular question, gather pertinent literature, and make recommendations on the best way to move forward. These are not systematic reviews, or even rapid reviews. They are not intended to comprehensively cover the published body of literature on a given topic. The goal is making our internal work available and accessible to other researchers and knowledge users.

Each flash review is reviewed by at least one INTERACT Principal Investigator and one co-Investigator. Trainees, staff, investigators and knowledge users are invited to draft a review to help advance their work, whether as part of expert team work or their research.

Studying the association between built environment interventions, health, and gentrification: What and Why?

In 2019, our team launched Sustainable Healthy Cities: The Interplay between Urban Interventions, Gentrification, and Population Health, a research project aimed at assessing the impacts of built environment interventions on health inequities with a focus on gentrification. The purpose of this document is to provide clarity on the built environment interventions we are studying in Montreal.

Understanding and measuring well-being in healthy cities research: A primer for the INTERACT project

From mental wellness to an economic indicator, the term well-being is used in all kinds of ways. What do we really mean when we talk about well-being? As our team works to uncover the evidence linking built environment interventions and their impact on our health, we prepared a primer that summarizes key concepts and measures relating to well-being.

Geographic Sampling Boundaries of Greenway/Urban Trail Natural Experiments

In preparation for INTERACT Vancouver’s evaluation of the Arbutus Greenway development, we review relevant literature to help guide sampling decisions. Considering that INTERACT will evaluate health impacts among differing exposure comparison groups, the review recommends a boundary of 1.5-3 km.

Measuring Well-being with Ecological Momentary Assessment

INTERACT seeks to measure well-being in multiple ways. The purpose of this review is to identify and assess measures of well-being to be administered through Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). EMA refers to an ambulatory data collection method with measures obtained in real time, in a real-life context, and which are repeated. EMA is particularly interesting for the measurement of hedonic well-being, given that it can capture self-reported data ‘in the moment’ via a smartphone application. This review assesses the tools and methods which have been used to measure well-being through EMA, and make recommendations for INTERACT, specifically regarding the choice of questions/items, and the administration modalities.

Parks, Green Spaces and Greenness Metrics

INTERACT is interested in measuring the urban environments to which participants are exposed. This review presents different measures and indexes for assessing green space. It recommends using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which is the most frequent index appearing in health related papers, as well as park proximity and proportion of park within neighborhood for INTERACT.  Depending on local context, some other specific metrics might be used or developed.

Transit Access Measures

This flash review will examine how access to public transit, including bus and subway systems, has been measured in the literature. The review is largely based on a slide deck and upcoming publication of a systematic review conducted by Dr. Gillian Booth’s team on transit access. The question of access to transit is relevant for INTERACT as it is the crucial component of the Saskatoon study. Changes in transit access are also potential confounders in observed associations between cycling infrastructure (Victoria) and Arbutus (Vancouver).


Business Considerations of Bus Rapid Transit

The City of Saskatoon has proposed the implementation of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Saskatoon and business owners requested research on how BRT or BRT-like transformations have impacted businesses in comparable cities, as documented in the literature. This flash review explores how BRT or BRT-like transformations impact local businesses and economic indicators.