The INTERACT Program


The city is our living laboratory. We document its transformation through geographic information systems, while precisely measuring physical activity, social participation and the well-being of populations using innovative technologies such as GPS, accelerometers or mobile applications.

With big data and various methods of analysis such as artificial intelligence, we identify how these urban transformations influence health profiles and social inequalities. Our work helps decision-makers and citizens orient future investments for livable, sustainable, and equitable urban development.



The INTErventions, Research, and Action in Cities Team (INTERACT) is a pan-Canadian collaboration of scientists, urban planners, and citizens uncovering the impact of urban changes on health and equity.







$225 M


Our aims

INTERACT offers a complete suite of tools for intervention research, from current conditions analysis to knowledge mobilization, empowering cities with timely evidence on the impact of their investments.


Understand context

We use concept mapping to capture the vision and perceptions of diverse stakeholders, helping to drive successful implementation of change.


Measure change

Citizens share data through online questionnaires and mobile technology, while stakeholders feed our geographic information system with data on urban change, allowing us to track the impact of an intervention over time.


Analyze impact

Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we conduct longitudinal analyses to determine the impact of urban form interventions on physical activity, social participation,well-being, and related health inequalities.


Mobilize knowledge

INTERACT supports stakeholders with evidence and recommends local actions to promote the design of smart, sustainable and healthy cities for all.

Our research questions

Physical Activity

Is increased exposure to active transportation infrastructure associated with greater use of active transportation?

Are changes in exposure to active transportation infrastructure associated with more physical activity, transport-related and overall?

Intervention Context

How are constructs of social participation and well-being conceptualized by citizens, stakeholders, and researchers?

Do perceptions of urban form changes differ by gender and socio-economic status?

What are participants’ experiences of place as they pertain to physical activity, social participation, and well-being?

Social Participation

What types of urban environments are associated with greater social participation?

Are urban form changes related to changes in social participation?

How does the nature of one’s social network relate to daily mobility, and usage of urban form interventions?


What are methods for detection of transportation mode using accelerometer and GPS data?

How can changes in urban form be measured over time?


How are urban form environments associated with well-being?

How do individuals experience urban environments, and how do these experiences relate to well-being?

How do active transportation trips relate to feelings of well-being?

Knowledge Mobilization

What community level and contextual factors are at play in the implementation of urban form interventions?

What are stakeholders’ perceptions of factors that influence the success or failure of urban form interventions, and how does this vary across interventions and cities?

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