clasp : Description

Title: Analysis of community involvement in sustainable mobility projects: The role of NGO in community involvement related to sustainable mobility.
Project description 
Practices in urban development inherited from the 1960s and characterized by urban sprawl and dispersed services have encouraged use of cars rather than active transportation (walking, bicycling) or public transportation, both of which are more favourable to health. There is increasingly more evidence that this type of development fosters sedentary lifestyles, contributes to the obesity epidemic, and is a risk factor for various health problems. For these reasons, sustainable mobility is now considered as essential to community development.  
As part of its mandate, the Urban Environment and Health Sector at the Direction de santé publique de Montréal (DSP) uses a variety of strategies to promote neighbourhood development and revitalization so as to improve living environments by making active transportation and public transportation safer and more accessible. One of these strategies is to design and fund programs to encourage community involvement in issues of sustainable development and mobility in neighbourhoods (e.g. the Quartiers 21 program developed in partnership with the City of Montréal). On the whole, these programs are intended for non-governmental organizations (NGO) and for local action decision-making bodies such as community committees. 
In addition to DSP supported programs, there has also been a proliferation of programs supporting local community actions that aim to improve the built environment and encourage active transportation. At this time, we have only very fragmented information on the nature of the projects funded through these various initiatives and on how they contribute to sustainable mobility in neighbourhoods. 
The six areas of sustainable mobility are 
  1. Access to local businesses
  2. Active and public transportation support measures
  3. Safety of walking and bicycling
  4. Urban safety
  5. Greening and beautification 
  6. Enhancement of natural areas 
1. Compile a list of projects carried out by non-governmental organizations on links between the built environment and sustainable mobility on the island of Montréal, provide a summary description of these projects, and document the contexts in which they are developed.
2. Produce an assessment of walkability in two Montréal neighbourhoods, using a walkability audit.  
3. Perform an analysis of community mobilization by looking at factors for implementation of sustainable mobility projects within NGO.  
This study uses a mixed methodology (quantitative and qualitative). The first component builds on existing databases and on complementary information collected from project proponents. The second and third components are based on case studies carried out in the Centre-Sud and Mercier-Est neighbourhoods. This involves using data from various sources: pedestrian audits; interviews with proponents, borough partners and citizens involved in the projects of non-governmental organizations in these neighbourhoods; and existing data (e.g. traffic, distribution of businesses and services). 
Research results will provide a better understanding of how community action support programs can contribute to the development of sustainable mobility, as well as deliver useful information to decision makers and funding agencies on how best to sustain these programs and improve their effectiveness. Moreover, research data, especially the assessment of neighbourhood walkability, will also help local communities identify components of the built environment that positively or negatively influence active transportation in the neighbourhood in order to maximize the potential contribution of non-governmental organizations to sustainable mobility.
This research project is funded by Canadian Partnership against Cancer, as part of a program entitled Coalition Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP).