Accessibility: being able to utilize products, services, amenities, and environments regardless of level of mobility or ability.
Aesthetic design: refers to the feel or look of a product, item, or design. It is often associated with visual elements such as lighting, colour, shapes, patterns, and balance.
Affordable housing: housing costs that are less than 30% of the household income, before taxes, are considered affordable.
Ageism: negative stereotypes based on age.
Amenity-dense neighbourhoods: neighbourhoods with access to at least one grocery store, pharmacy, child care facility, school, library, health facility, employment, and public transit stop.92
Blue spaces: any area that contains elements of bodies of water such as seas, oceans, coastlines, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, fountains. They can be natural or man-made and can be used for aesthetic purposes or recreational activities.
Built Environment: the physical, human-made setting where human activity occurs, such as buildings, roads, pathways and parks.
Car dependence: refers to designs that favour vehicles over other modes of transportation.
Carbon footprint: refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane) that result from our actions.
Chain businesses: groups of stores with the same brand or name owned by a parent company.
Child development: the social, mental, physical, and emotional growth of children.
Climate change protection: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources.
Community kitchens: A collective kitchen where groups of people come together to participate in planning, cooking, and sharing affordable, healthy meals.90
Compactness: using less land and resources in development, contributing to higher density residential areas and mixed land use.
Complete neighbourhood design: ensures that home, employment, schools, services, parks, and recreation and leisure venues are easily accessible.
Connectivity: how well connected the streets, paths, and destinations are within a neighbourhood.
Cultural conservation: preserving and protecting cultural heritage.
Debt-to-income ratio: refers to the percentage of your after-tax monthly income that goes to paying your monthly payments.
Determinant: a factor that causes something to happen or affects the outcome of something.
Diet quality: a healthy diet that is both balanced and diverse to provide all essential nutrients to grow and live a healthy life.
Diverse: refers to variety.
Diversity: a variety, a range of different elements.
Economic capital: any material assets that can be converted into money (i.e., financial resources, property ownership, land ownership, real estate ownership).105
Economic co-benefits: simultaneous and substantive benefits to the economy while also meeting other goals.
Economic diversification: investment in a variety of different types of assets to reduce overall investment risk.
Economic environment: refers to factors in the economy that influence the purchasing decisions of individuals and organizations.
Economic recovery: refers to the business cycle after a period of recession (i.e., decline in economic activity), recovering the wealth and resources that were lost.
Energy-efficient: using only the minimum energy that is needed to perform a task or provide a product or service without energy waste.
Environmental conservation: preserving and protecting the environment.
Environmental sustainability: responsibility and capacity to conserve the world’s natural resources while improving quality of life.
Equitable: treating everyone fairly and in a way that promotes similar outcomes, while accounting for circumstances beyond a person’s control.
Extreme weather: extreme climate events that are unusual, unpredictable, severe, or unseasonal.
Food deserts: underserved areas with limited access to affordable, good quality, fresh, nutritious food.
Food environment: all facets of our environment that influence how we acquire, prepare and consume food.19
Food insecurity: refers to the inability to access a diverse range of foods in sufficient quantities due to reasons such as financial constraints and lack of accessibility or availability.
Food security: refers to the ability to access a diverse range of foods in sufficient quantities without financial constraints.91
Gentrification: the process of transforming a neighbourhood with low property value to a higher value. Gentrification is often linked with displacement of long-time residents and local businesses who can no longer afford higher housing and rental costs, which can change the cultural character of an area.57
Green infrastructure:infrastructure that contributes to climate change mitigation, environmental quality, reduction of air pollution, treatment of water, etc.106
Green spaces: any area that contains elements of nature such as grass or trees. They can be used for aesthetic purposes or recreational activities.
Health hazards: hazards in the environment that can have negative impacts on short- and long-term health. These may be chemical, physical, or biological factors.144
Heterogeneity: refers to different or variety of elements.
Heterogenous housing: different housing styles, costs, and properties.
Homogenous housing: similar or same housing styles, costs, and properties.
Human-centred design: refers to the consideration of a human perspective and designing with the user population in mind.
Infrastructure: refers to physical systems and services that help societies to function efficiently.
Intergenerational interaction: people born from different generations (or time periods) communicating or having direct involvement with each other.
Life-stage transitions: periods in life which involve changes, such as changes in lifestyle, education, moving, career change, retirement, etc.
Livability: the degree to which a place is suitable for living.
Local economies: resources and wealth that are specific to a defined area. Local economies are inclusive of all businesses in the area and focus on the economic activities that occur in a specific area (e.g., a community, town, city, rural main street). These include businesses owned by local residents and chain or global businesses.
Mixed land use: a mixture of residential, retail, business, and commercial uses.
Mode-shift: changing from one [transportation] form to another.
Multi-generational living: multiple generations of people living together under a single roof.
Natural environment: includes all the living and nonliving elements in a given surrounding or place.
Neighbourliness: being friendly and helpful to other neighbours.
Place-making: transforming or reimaging public spaces to build stronger connections between people and community spaces.
Resiliency: the ability to adjust or recover from adverse conditions or change.
Sense of agency: having a feeling of control over voluntary actions and their consequences.
Sense of place: refers to how people perceive, feel, and experience a place or environment.
Services and Amenities: refer to elements that help meet basic needs or offer comfort, and convenience. Services involve activities that other individuals, businesses, or organizations do for you. Amenities increase our enjoyment of a community, providing pleasant experiences for daily living.
Smart growth: development within existing neighbourhoods and communities that encourages mixed land use, diverse housing, and multi-modal transportation.20
Social and economic participation: refers to involvement or engagement in social activities and work or employment.
Social capital: refers to the ability of individuals to gain benefits and through their membership in social networks and through social structures (e.g., shared values and norms).58
Social cohesion: cooperation between members of the community to ensure health and wellbeing of everyone in the community.
Social enterprise: revenue-generating businesses or organizations that also aim to achieve social, environmental, or community goals.
Social environment: refers to the social context in which people live or participate. This includes social groups we belong to, neighbourhoods we live in, and our workplaces.
Social inequalities: refers to the unequal social distribution of income, wealth, status, and power.
Social integration: refers to the extent of participation or engagement in social relationships or activities.
Social safety nets: refers to social policies or programs that provide benefits and assistance to individuals such as food stamps, food banks, subsidy programs and allowances.
Social wellbeing: the development and maintenance of positive social relationships and interactions with other people.
Socioeconomic status: refers to characteristics such as education, income, financial status, occupation of an individual or group.
Sprawl: uncontrolled or rapid expansion of cities and towns, typically low density.
Universal accessibility: creating equal opportunities to engage within a place, regardless of ability.
Universal design: refer to design that considers and is intended to meet the needs of all people regardless of their age, size, ability, or disability or other factors.
Universal neighbourhood design: a framework of “human-centred design” for all, where places, policy, and information is “usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design”.37,38
Urban tree canopies: a layer within an urban environment that contains trees or vegetation that provides coverage over the ground.107
Urbanization: refers to the growth of urban areas, often through mass population movement from rural areas.
Way-finding: how people locate themselves in a physical space and move from one place to another.
Centre for Healthy Communities
School of Public Health
University of Alberta
3-035 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9 CANADA