The CHANGE (Changes in Health, Activity, and Nutrition across Geographic Environments) study documents and evaluates changes in travel patterns, physical activity levels, eating, and built environment factors related to health before and after families move within Metro Vancouver. This study seeks to evaluate the presence of a causal relationship between physical features of community design, physical activity, and food choice as predictors of BMI and built environment features related to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and respiratory function. The proposed study builds upon and leverages data and methods from the Border Air Quality Study which provides environmental exposure data and the multi-region SHIFT study funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate movers.

The built environment has been shown to have significant effects on economic health and quality of life. Working across disciplines, the Health and Community Design Lab works to connect the health, environmental, and transportation sectors to build an evidence base on the impacts of community design on health and environmental outcomes. Of particular significance is the lab’s work to quantify externalities, with the goal of building a fuller picture of the economic benefits and consequences of numerous forms of investment in the built environment.

Objectives of the CHANGE Project include:

  • Measurement of changes in perceived and objectively measured built environment features in pre and post move locations;
  • Assessment of differences in self-reported travel, food choice, social interaction and body weight and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior in pre and post move locations;
  • Evaluation of differences in exposure to traffic-related air pollution and noise in pre and post move locations; and
  • Assessment of built environment impacts (causal) on health related outcomes across differing income groups when adjusting for preferences and attitudinal predisposition.


2012 – 2018


Data analysis phase; final paper Impact of Moving on Travel Behaviour in progress.

Download the Project Fact Sheet below to learn more about this project:

CHANGE Fact Sheet