Walk 21 Calgary

September 20-23, 2017

Dr. Candace Nykiforuk presented twice at the Walk 21 conference in Calgary:

Check the Score: Field Validation of Street Smart Walk Score in Alberta, Canada 
Candace I. J. Nykiforuk, Jennifer Ann McGetrick, Jeffrey A. Johnson (School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Our research aimed to address the knowledge gap in Canadian walkability research and practice by field validating Walk Score® with street-level observations from three communities situated along a rural to urban continuum in Alberta, Canada. We reverse-engineered 2181 Walk Scores® for locations in Bonnyville, Medicine Hat, and North Central Edmonton using ground-truth data obtained through systematic street-level observations. Walk Score® was successfully field validated across the rural to urban continuum, producing very high correlations for Bonnyville, high correlations for Medicine Hat and high correlations for North Central Edmonton. However, we caution against interpreting walkability solely using Walk Score®, and encourage its integration with community-based participatory methods to more inclusively capture resident perspectives on walkability across different municipalities and regions.

Universal Design for the rural walks of life: Operationalizing walkability in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada 
Candace I. J. Nykiforuk, Jennifer Ann McGetrick, Laura M. J. Nieuwendyk (University of Alberta, Canada), Kerry Coupland (Alberta Health Services, Canada)

Universal Design principles were operationalized in the Bonnyville Community Walking Map to promote walking in Bonnyville, a rural municipality in Alberta, Canada. Local stakeholders prioritized barrier-free access to walking routes for older adults and others with low-mobility as the guiding principle for their rural walkability concept. Universal Design was selected as an appropriate framework for operationalization by examining local data collected through systematic street-level observations and a community photovoice study, and literature review of walkability in rural settings and specifically for older adults. We argue that incorporating Universal Design principles into walkability research and practice will help enhance equity and promote transferability of constructs across geographies.

For more information about these projects, visit the PLACE Research Lab website.

For more information about Walk 21 Calgary, visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/walk21calgary/.