North American Healthy Cities Research Hub


The Healthy Cities Research Hub will expand and augment the work already taking place in the three North American CCD cities—Vancouver, Houston and Mexico City. The hub will explore the social and environmental conditions that impact the onset, care and outcomes of diabetes and other chronic diseases. The main goal is to exchange findings between the three cities and work together to translate knowledge into a sharable ‘tool kit’ for use in any of the countless cities fighting the rise of non-communicable chronic diseases.

Made possible through a generous grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the North American Healthy Cities Research Hub was established in 2017 by Dr. Stephen Linder from the University of Texas, in partnership with CCD.


1. Determine the role of the built environment in obesity, diabetes risk and diabetes. Please visit our Built Environment project page for more information on this objective.

Esri Collector for ArcGIS app used to collect built environment data for the study.
Image property of Esri.

2. Identify the prevalence of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes in Greater Vancouver.

3. Understand the social and cultural determinants of diabetes among Greater Vancouverites.

4. Use qualitative Geographic Information System (GIS) methods and social media big data to map trends in healthy / unhealthy lifestyle habits.

More information on these projects will be available soon.