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Out of our inner city backyards: Re-scaling urban environmental health inequity assessment


  • Masuda, Jeffrey R.
  • Teelucksingh, Cheryl
  • Zupancic, Tara
  • Crabtree, Alexis
  • Haber, Rebecca
  • Skinner, Emily
  • Poland, Blake
  • Frankish, Jim
  • Fridell, Mara


In this paper, we report the results of a three-year research project (2008–2011) that aimed to identify urban environmental health inequities using a photography-mediated qualitative approach adapted for comparative neighbourhood-level assessment. The project took place in Vancouver, Toronto, and Winnipeg, Canada and involved a total of 49 inner city community researchers who compared environmental health conditions in numerous neighbourhoods across each city. Using the social determinants of health as a guiding framework, community researchers observed a wide range of differences in health-influencing private and public spaces, including sanitation services, housing, parks and gardens, art displays, and community services. The comparative process enabled community researchers to articulate in five distinct ways how such observable conditions represented system level inequities. The findings inform efforts to shift environmental health intervention from constricted action within derelict urban districts to more coordinated mobilization for health equity in the city.

Suggested Citation

  • Masuda, Jeffrey R. & Teelucksingh, Cheryl & Zupancic, Tara & Crabtree, Alexis & Haber, Rebecca & Skinner, Emily & Poland, Blake & Frankish, Jim & Fridell, Mara, 2012. "Out of our inner city backyards: Re-scaling urban environmental health inequity assessment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1244-1253.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:7:p:1244-1253
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wen-Hao Chen & John Myles & Garnett Picot, 2012. "Why Have Poorer Neighbourhoods Stagnated Economically while the Richer Have Flourished? Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Canadian Cities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(4), pages 877-896, March.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:11:1942-1944_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
    4. Cutts, Bethany B. & Darby, Kate J. & Boone, Christopher G. & Brewis, Alexandra, 2009. "City structure, obesity, and environmental justice: An integrated analysis of physical and social barriers to walkable streets and park access," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1314-1322, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carter, Eric D., 2015. "Making the Blue Zones: Neoliberalism and nudges in public health promotion," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 374-382.
    2. Alaazi, Dominic A. & Masuda, Jeffrey R. & Evans, Joshua & Distasio, Jino, 2015. "Therapeutic landscapes of home: Exploring Indigenous peoples' experiences of a Housing First intervention in Winnipeg," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 30-37.


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