Promoting the Right to Live in a Healthy City
Most Canadian cities have neighbourhoods that are considered “unhealthy,” where citizens lack ready access to basic amenities, such as good housing, safe streets, transit, grocery stores, parks, playgrounds, health clinics and places to socialize. But why are some neighbourhoods healthy while others are not? Explaining the close connection between our living environments and social inequalities is at the core of Dr. Jeffrey Masuda’s research.
As Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Equity, Masuda works closely with communities in Canada’s inner cities, documenting their efforts to create healthier neighbourhoods for themselves and their families.
Masuda’s research has shown that people who face social prejudices—like racism, homophobia and mental health stigmas—view their neighbourhoods as places of mutual support, cultural safety and acceptance. Masuda and his research team are applying their research to create spaces for people living in such places to assert their rights and demand fairer treatment.
Masuda believes it is possible to build healthier communities through more creative, citizen-led, rights-based policies and practices that can lead to reinvesting our social, economic and health resources more equitably. He hopes his research will help Canadians find ways to create neighbourhoods built on our collective right to live healthy lives in a sustainable world.