Our Work

The Alberta Survey on Physical Activity, the annual Physical Activity Forum, and a body of original resources and publications represent important aspects of the Centre's work.

2007 Physical Activity Forum

Promoting Health Through Community Design: Finding the Win-Win Across Multiple Health Outcomes

Dr. Larry Frank is an internationally known expert in sustainable transportation. He is the author of Health and Community Design: The Impacts of the Built Environment on Physical Activity and Urban Sprawl and Public Health. His 2004 study, "Obesity Relationships with Community Design, Physical Activity, and Time Spent in Cars," was featured in Time magazine and on CNN and ABC news.

Video of the 2007 Physical Activity Forum

You can view the Edmonton presentation on our YouTube channel.

Promoting Health Through Community Design (65 minutes)

Panel discussion in Edmonton

This year, our panellists were:

  • Erik Backstrom, Senior Planner, Planning & Development Department, City of Edmonton
  • Dean Cooper, Principal, Stantec Consulting
  • Dr John C Spence, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta
  • Dr Brad Stelfox, Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, and the Department of Environmental Design, University of Calgary


Speaker: Dr. Lawrence D. Frank

Lawrence Frank, PhD, AICP, ASLA, is the Bombardier Chairholder in Sustainable Transportation at the University of British Columbia and a Senior Non-resident Fellow of the Brookings Institution. He specializes in the interaction between land use, travel behavior, air quality, and health.

He has co-authored numerous papers and two books on these topics: Health and Community Design: The Impacts of the Built Environment on Physical Activity, and Urban Sprawl and Public Health. In June of 2004, his study “Obesity Relationships with Community Design, Physical Activity, and Time Spent in Cars” was released documenting for the first time relationships between travel habits, neighborhood design characteristics, and the odds of being obese and was featured in Time Magazine, on CNN, ABC news, and over 300 media outlets worldwide.

Dr. Frank and his colleagues also have been evaluating relationships between community design, travel patterns, air quality, fuel consumption, and climate change. In addition, he has been conducting research to document a causal link between community design, travel choice, health, and the environment.