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Past Events

CRUNCH Research Seminar Series: Winter 2015

The Collaboratory for Research on Urban Neighbourhoods, Community Health and Housing (CRUNCH) at McMaster University invites you to attend this series of informal seminars on emerging research.

All seminars are held in Togo Salmon Hall (TSH), Room 111B, on the main campus of McMaster University. 


Revitalization of public housing to create care bases for senior citizens in Japan

Dr. Sayaka Fujii

March 2, 2015. 3:30 - 4: 30 PM

The percentage of the Japanese population aged 65 years old or older reached 25.1%, in 2013, the highest in the world, and is projected to reach 39.9% in 2060. Providing appropriate facilities and services for the elderly, especially in large cities, is becoming a pressing issue in Japan.

To address this issue, the Urban Renaissance Agency (URA), a national public housing corporation, is taking a prominent role in providing care bases for seniors by revitalizing public housing. URA has started to develop nursing care and rehabilitation bases for seniors and barrier-free units / environment in public housing properties. URA named this project the Aging in Danchi (aging in public housing) project. URA is planning to conduct Aging in Danchi projects at 100 public housing properties by 2030 in order to offer a new model for mixed-generation communities in public housing for this era in which Japanese society is rapidly aging.

This seminar introduces the URA’s Aging in Danchi project and discusses its challenges and issues.

 View the poster for this event here.

Urban Renewal and Health: The effects of the Neighbourhoods Law on health and health inequalities in Barcelona

Dr. Roshanak Mehdipanah

March 24, 2015. 12:30 -1:30 PM

Large-scale urban renewal projects are gaining importance as a way to improve the physical, social and economic situations of neighbourhoods. However, due to their complexity and limitations in evaluation methods, there is little evidence linking their effects to health and health inequalities. The purpose of this study was to use a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the effects of the Neighbourhoods Law, one of Europe’s largest urban renewal program to date, on the health and health inequality of residents.

A quasi-experimental design was applied to study poor self-rated health and mental health in Barcelona while comparing them to non-intervened neighbourhoods with similar socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis was also stratified by occupational social class to study health inequalities. In addition, Concept Mapping (CM), a qualitative method, was used to explore the perceptions of residents in intervention neighbourhoods, towards changes that had occurred in their neighbourhoods and their effects on wellbeing.

The results of the study showed that the Neighbourhoods Law had a positive effect on the wellbeing of residents. Furthermore, the use of mixed methods in evaluation contributed to a better understanding of how, why and for who large-scale programs work.

View the poster for this event here.

CRUNCH Research Seminar Series: Autumn 2014

The Collaboratory for Research on Urban Neighbourhoods, Community Health and Housing (CRUNCH) at McMaster University invites you to attend this series of informal seminars on emerging research.

All seminars are held in the CRUNCH office, Togo Salmon Hall 111, at McMaster University. Find detailed directions here.

Changing Image of Affordable Housing in Cities of Southern Ontario

Ulduz Maschaykh, Post-Doctoral Fellow, McMaster University

Monday October 20, 2014

3:30 – 4:30 PM

TSH 111

Neighbourhood Disorder & Early Child Development

Amber Lindsay, Master’s student in Health, Aging and Society, McMaster University

Monday October 27, 2014

3:30 – 4:30 PM

TSH 111

Applying a Salutogenic Design Model to the Architecture of Low-Income Housing

Ellen Ziegler, Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture student, University of British Columbia

Monday December 15, 2014

3:30 – 4:30 PM

TSH 111


Changing Image of Affordable Housing in Cities of Southern Ontario 

Ulduz Maschaykh October 20

My research project focuses on the re-use and functional conversion and preservation of architecture of turn-of-the-century buildings that are used as marketing strategies and how cities implement these strategies in the affordable housing policies of the twenty-first century.

These buildings bear an eclectic style that is known as 'Historicism', which typically pleases the taste of the middle-to upper classes. In this research I want to investigate whether buildings of historicism serve as a selling point. If yes: “do cities incorporate historicism with affordable housing projects to visually de-stigmatize the purpose of the buildings and the social status of the tenants?”


Neighbourhood Disorder & Early Child Development

Amber Lindsay October 27

The presentation will include a discussion of an ongoing research project investigating the role of the built environment in shaping child development outcomes. Using Google Street View to perform a systematic social observation of neighbourhood contexts, the project seeks to provide an objective look at how physical disorder and the construction of ‘child-friendly’ spaces affects developmental outcomes. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the research process to date; welcoming suggestions for the research moving forward.


Applying a Salutogenic Design Model to the Architecture of Low-Income Housing

Ellen Ziegler December 15

There is a strong correlation between inadequate housing and stress, and between stress and health. It follows that inadequate housing can have an impact on health, and recent research has shown that low-income housing residents often face more stress and suffer from more ill health than those living in market housing.

Salutogenesis is a recently developed concept which focuses on the causes of health, rather than the causes of illness. Salutogenic design principles have been applied to the architectural design of healthcare facilities, long-term care facilities and workplaces, however they have not yet been applied to low-income housing. Although the presence of stress is not solely due to architecture, in this presentation I demonstrate how architecture and design elements can either intensify or mitigate the effects of stress on health in low-income housing.

Learn about the Great Neighbourhoods Visualization Project and the MUVR System.

See the car and camera, chat with Dr. James Dunn, and propose research ideas for how to document changes in YOUR neighbourhood!

Community Information Session

Drop in 5:30-7:30 PM, Monday September 22, at the ARCH, in the Perkins Centre, on Main at Kenilworth.

Learn about the Great Neighbourhoods Visualization Project and the MUVR System at the following events on Saturday September 20th:

James Street South: 10:30 to 11:30 AM

See the James Street South merchants in the Passport to Prizes event, and find Dr. Dunn and the MUVR car nearby.

Concession Street: Noon to 1:30 PM

Enjoy the Concession Street Fall Fest, and learn about the Great Neighbourhoods Visualization Project nearby.

Westdale: 2 to 4 PM

While on your way to WestFest, find the MUVR car parked nearby in the neighbourhood of McMaster University.

November 8, 2013: "Urban Health Rx: A Prescription for Healthy Neighbourhoods"

Join Dr. Jim Dunn for the talk Urban Health Rx: A Prescription for Healthy Neighbourhoods  this Friday, November 8th, 2013, at 5 PM. The talk will occur at The Brain (199 James Street North) beside the Mulberry Café on James and Mulberry Streets.

In this presentation, Dr. Jim Dunn, CIHR-PHAC Chair in Applied Public Health and the director of CRUNCH will talk about the merits of place-based policy for healthier neighbourhoods, and what else needs to be done to reduce disparities between neighbourhoods and make it healthier for everyone.

This event is being hosted by the Critical Health Research Network (CHRN). The CHRN is a collection of scholars who share certain interests, perspectives and values in their research around health. The network:

  • Assists interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars
  • Fosters linkages, collaborations and initiatives external to McMaster
  • Exchanges knowledge with health care organizations and professionals, community non-profit organizations and the public
  • Acts as a resource and first point of contact for academics and organizations wanting to work with McMaster on critical health research. 

Join us for refreshments and lively conversation before Art Crawl!

August to October, 2013: EXPLORE YOUR CITY!

CoBALT Connects is finding out what makes a neighbourhood vibrant, and is seeking people who want to see Hamilton in a new way.

As part of the Expressing Vibrancy project, we are looking for volunteer Neighbourhood Explorers to assist with research by completing unguided tours of one or more neighbourhoods, and working through a questionnaire as they do so. This is a great opportunity to explore your city, meet other civic-minded people, and make a contribution to a first-of-its-kind study.

If you have two hours to spare, we have a volunteer shift and a neighbourhood for you. Volunteers can complete shifts in small groups, pairs, or individually, and a staff contact person will be on hand throughout. Volunteers are welcome to commit to exploring multiple neighbourhoods, but only one shift per neighbourhood may be completed. All shifts are weather-permitting, and you will be informed ahead of time if a shift needs to be cancelled. 

Neighbourhoods and dates include: 

Locke Street South - August 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th

Ottawa Street - August 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th

James Street North - August 21st, 23rd, 24th and 25th

Barton Village - September 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th

Downtown Dundas - September 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th

Concession Street - September 18th, 20th, 21st and 22nd

Waterdown - September 25th, 27th, 28th and 29th

Westdale Village - October 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th 

CoBALT encourages volunteers of all ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and ethnicities to apply. 

 For more information about the project and to book your shift online, please visit:

Code Red RX: Prescription for Healthy Neighbourhoods Speaker Series

Should where you live predict your life expectancy? Whether your baby is
born underweight? Whether you have a university degree?


In April of 2010, The Hamilton Spectator’s outstanding Code Red series brought to our attention the startling disparities in health that exist among Hamilton neighbourhoods. It's a tale of two cities that go by the same name--one comfortably affluent and the other shockingly poor--that is also compellingly told in the Hamilton Community Foundation's Vital Signs report. 

Together, we are helping to create a made-in-Hamilton action plan.

Many groups and individuals have mobilized across the city, hoping to take action. From January to June 2011, the Chair in Research on Urban Neighbourhoods, Community Health and Housing (CRUNCH) at McMaster contributed to the discussion by hosting the Code Red Rx: Prescription for Healthy Neighbourhoods Speaker Series. We featured insights from both local and international authorities on options to improve health and well-being in Hamilton’s neighbourhoods.

Tuesday January 25, 2011 Public Lecture: "Poverty By Postal Code: How Neighbourhood Solutions Can Work"

Dr. Jim Dunn, McMaster University
The Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, 44 Frid St. Hamilton

Poverty by postal code. It's what Hamilton Community Foundation CEO, Terry Cooke, has called the disparities between Hamilton's neighbourhoods, and it's a grim reality revealed in both The Spectator's Code Red series and the Community Foundation's Vital Signs report. If wealth - and health - are defined by where we live, are neighbourhood-based policies and programs the answer? McMaster researcher Dr. Jim Dunn shows us where these approaches have been used, their pros and cons ... and what we can learn for Hamilton.

Check out a .pdf of the flyer.

Read the Hamilton Spectator articles (Sat January 22-Steve Buist) (Wed January 26-Daniel Nolan).

Download Dr. Dunn's powerpoint presentation (pdf format).

Listen to the presentation (10 MB mp3 file) (24 MB mp3 file).

Tuesday March 8, 2011 Public Lecture: "Urban Development Agreements: A Poverty Prescription for Hamilton?"

Dr. Neil Bradford, Associate Professor of Political Science, Huron College, University of Western Ontario
The Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, 44 Frid St. Hamilton

Canada may be a world leader in medicare and multiculturalism, but our track record on finding solutions to concentrated urban poverty is nothing to write home about.

Until now.

Join University of Western Ontario researcher, Dr. Neil Bradford, as he explores neighbourhood transformation through "urban development agreements"--comprehensive strategies that bring together the resources of all levels of government, businesses and communities to transform neighbourhoods. Dr. Bradford takes stock of the possibilities for Hamilton. What could an urban development agreement do for us? And who needs a seat at the table?


Check out a .pdf of the flyer.

Read the Hamilton Spectator articles (Sat March 5-Steve Buist) (Wed March 9-Daniel Nolan).

Download Dr. Bradford's powerpoint presentation (pdf format).

Listen to the presentation (9 MB mp3 file).

Wednesday June 1, 2011 Open Forum: "Code Red Open Forum: One Year Later"

The Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, 44 Frid St. Hamilton

The groundbreaking Code Red series, by investigative reporter Steve Buist, was published in 2010. Code Red used data to map the health of Hamilton down to the neighbourhood level and started a new conversation in Hamilton. Learn what has and hasn't happened in the year since publication.

Speakers include Dr. Michael Hayes ("From Code Red Kid to University Professor"), Steve Buist, Neil Johnston, Terry Cooke, Dr. Chris Mackie and Paul Beattie.

Host: Jim Poling, Managing Editor, The Spectator

The event was taped by Cable 14 and aired on several dates in June 2011.

Watch Dr. Hayes's presentation here (420 MB .m4v file), courtesy of Cable 14.

View the Spec ad here.

Read the Hamilton Spectator articles (Mon May 30-Daniel Nolan) (Thurs June 2-Molly Hayes).

Read the letter to the editor "Equality is good for everyone" (Mon June 6-Bill Johnston).

Wednesday October 5, 2011 Q&A with Nathan Edelson: "Revitalization Not Displacement"

Nathan Edelson, Senior Partner with 42nd Street Consulting in Vancouver
McMaster Downtown Centre
, 50 Main St. E. Room 210

neighbourhood planning. From the Olympic Games to the Downtown Eastside, what can we learn from their experience? Put your questions and concerns on the table!

We’re putting Vancouver on the (friendly) Hamilton hot seat for an afternoon Q & A. 

About our special guest:

Nathan Edelson originated the idea of "revitalization without displacement." He is a senior partner with 42nd Street Consulting – a company that focuses on planning for inclusive communities. He worked with the City of Vancouver Planning Department for 25 years and, from 1995 to 2008, he was the Senior City Planner for the historic neighbourhoods of the Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Gastown and Strathcona. In addition to supervising a strong multi-disciplinary staff team, he was the founding chair of the Downtown Eastside Integrated Services Team, co-manager of the area-wide Housing Plan, member of the Inclusive Commitments for the 2010 Olympic Bid and chair of the Vancouver Agreement’s Economic Revitalization Plan Task Team.

Prior to this, Nathan was the planner responsible for the Joyce Rapid Transit Station Area Plan, the Downtown South high density residential community plan and worked on the Central Area Plan as well as city-wide initiatives on secondary suites, liquor licensing and other contentious issues.

He was also the founding executive director of Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, a community based social service organization and vice president of the Forum for Planning Action – a group of students, professional and community activists calling for more meaningful public participation in planning.

In 2009, Nathan and his partner Normajean McLaren were the first Bousfield Distinguished Visiting Scholars at the University of Toronto. He is an Adjunct Professor at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning and a member of the UBC CIDA funded New Public Consortia for Metropolitan Governance Project, which is studying inter-governmental relations in Canada and Brazil.

He has worked with many non profit organizations and is currently on the steering committee of Living in Community, a coalition of business and community organizations working to improve safety for sex workers and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver.

Check out the event flyer here (.jpg).

Listen to the presentation (17 MB mp3 file).

October 28, 2010: "Amenities, Design and Development: When Having a Team and a New Stadium Matters...And Why"

Dr. Mark Rosentraub
Bickner Endowed Chair and Professor of Sport Management
University of Michigan

The PanAm stadium issue has stimulated a level of civic engagement virtually unprecedented in recent Hamilton history. What does the research say about what makes a successful stadium and how it can best contribute to the community?

Dr. Rosentraub is the Bickner Endowed Chair and Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan. His most recent publications have each focused on strategies for cities and regions to use sports facilities and teams, entertainment complexes, and cultural centers to enhance urban design and attract and retain the human capital needed for real economic development in cities. His research also explores ways to fashion financing programs for facilities that protect and advance the public's interests. Dr. Rosentraub’s current research focuses on the ways in which the world’s largest sports and entertainment organizations and teams can successfully work with the public sector to positively impact regional economic development and urban planning and design while achieving their revenue goals.

Read the Hamilton Spectator article.

Many Thanks To Our Series Partners: