Healthy Neighbourhoods

Anticipated Traffic Impacts of Light Rail Transit (LRT) on Hamilton

Challenge:
How might the LRT project affect traffic on the LRT Corridor and alternative routes, the economic growth of the downtown core, and provide health and environmental benefits to the community?

Student Names:
Anastasia Soukhov, Cole Bondarewski, Chris Leung, Amanda Reale, Mike Wang, Julian Riano, Stanley Qian, Andrea Giampuzzi, Justin Lawrence, Andres Alvarez

Staff Member:
Kris Jacobson, Acting Director, LRT Project Coordination

Instructor:
Moataz Mohamed

Course and Department:
CIVENG 4T04 Transportation Engineering II: Modelling, Transit, and ITS


The Hamilton LRT project is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to expanding transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. This project presents a great opportunity for students to study the effects of the LRT on different aspects of the community. Questions surrounding projected traffic congestion, property values, anticipated employment growth, and improved environmental conditions due to decreased daily travel times and fuel consumption, can be explored.

Students of the McMaster Transportation Engineering class created a traffic simulation of the current and projected conditions on a section of King Street near McMaster University. They used statistical models to project current traffic data into the future. Students optimized LRT riders' travel times using a micro traffic simulation model. They consulted literature for additional traffic assignment modelling assumptions and reviewed literature discussing the economic and environmental impacts of the LRT project on Hamilton's community. 

Next students will generate suggestions to highlight the impacts of LRT and share their findings with community stakeholders. 

       Traffic assignment equilibrium loop

       Traffic assignment equilibrium loop

                                                                           Hamilton LRT Render

                                                                           Hamilton LRT Render

                                           Traffic simulation of projected data using Synchro 5

 

                                        Traffic simulation of projected data using Synchro 5

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Your First Days in Hamilton Application: A Digital Tool to Help Newcomers Find Relevant Local Services

Challenge:
How can immigrant and refugee newcomers to Hamilton find information about relevant services, resources, and programs in a timely manner?
Hamilton view from the mountain

Hamilton view from the mountain

Student Names:
Bohan Gou, Julian A Fernandez M, Sebastian Rojas, Abdullah Mousavi

Staff Member:
Sarah Wayland, Senior Project Manager, Immigration Partnership, Healthy and Safe Communities Department

Community Partner:
Lily Martin-Lumsden, Senior Regional Manager, YMCA

 

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Community Partner:
Lily Martin-Lumsden, Senior Regional Manager, YMCA

Instructor:
Joe Varrasso, Esteve Hassan

Course and Department:
Software Engineering Project (Comp CO867), CSAIT

Mock up of the your first days in Hamilton app

Mock up of the your first days in Hamilton app

 

Newcomers to Hamilton require access to services to help them ease their transition. Many new immigrants and refugees experience difficulties finding and accessing the many services available to them. While there is a wealth of information available, it can be difficult to access in an easily organized and central way, particularly for those who are new to the city.

Students of the Software Engineering program at Mohawk College - Bohan, Julian, Sebastian, and Abdullah created an application to help newcomers find these resources, by creating a graphical user interface, and a newly designed home page for their application.

Next they will consult with the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council to further develop their design and content and explore further collaboration. 

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Wellness and Engagement in City Housing: Aging Successfully Though Enhanced Wellness Programming

Challenge:
What barriers do people experience in accessing the wellness programs, and how can CityHousing support resident engagement?

Students:
Robert Etherington, Zoe Grant, Coomal Rashid, Gagandeep Saini

Staff:
Kelly Coxson, Community Development Coordinator, CityHousing Hamilton

Instructor:
Kate Whalen

Course and Department:
Sustainability 4S06: Leadership in Sustainability, Academic Sustainability Programs

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Exercise class poster created by the Wellness and Engagement in CityHousing Hamilton group

Exercise class poster created by the Wellness and Engagement in CityHousing Hamilton group

The results from the in-person resident surveys, highlighting the most significant barriers to accessing the wellness programs

The results from the in-person resident surveys, highlighting the most significant barriers to accessing the wellness programs

Students Robert, Zoe, Coomal, and Gagandeep conducted and coded 34 resident interviews, in order to discover potential barriers to engagement. They developed promotional material that was translated into two different languages and as their development culminated over a 3 week trial, they found a 10% increase in participation with their new promotional material. Afterwards, the students compiled a Recommendations Report for Kelly Coxson (the Community Project Champion), and the CHH Board to summarize their findings, as well as highlighting their next steps. 

Next the students will highlight 3 key recommendations on the report to the CHH and set up an online system for promotional material editing and templates and instructions, which will ensure the continuity of this project. 

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Welcome to Hamilton: Mapping the Narratives of Immigrant and International Student Communities

Challenge:
Where do the immigrant and international student populations reside and congregate, and how do these communities access information?
Where is Hamilton?

Where is Hamilton?

Student Names:
Saima Ahmad, Justin Axent-Saipovski, Rachel Cheung, Michael Dennis, Yousif Eliya, Aditya Harchand, Rebecca Hicks, Sabrina Musto

Staff Member:
Tammy Hwang (Business Development Officer, Global Hamilton)

Instructor:
Margaret Secord, Cole Gately

Course and Department:
Health Sciences 3DD6, Engaging the City

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Immigrants positively affect and diversify our communities by adding skills to the local labour force, while also increasing the size and productivity of the local economy. Immigrants are not only vital for the development of the community due to their work and educational backgrounds, but also for their innovation and ability to enrich cultural life. The City of Hamilton created Global Hamilton to 1) raise awareness of Hamilton as an immigration destination, 2) promote entrepreneurship and 3) help engage newcomers and immigrant communities to connect with the city. That being said, connecting with and engaging newcomers to Hamilton can be an ongoing challenge.

Saima, Justin, Rachel, Michael, Yousif, Aditya, Rebecca, and Sabrina identified areas where immigrant and international student populations have chosen to reside and congregate within Hamilton. They then developed strategies of engagement and located resources that are available to newcomers within the Hamilton area. Finally the students looked at cities demographically similar to Hamilton and how they have attempted challenges such as newcomer population retention.

Next the students of the Health Sciences Engaging the City class will create marketing and communication plans to reach international students and newcomers about events, projects, and initiatives happening in Hamilton. They are planning to collaborate with upper year McMaster University students to build a primary research project, where researchers will coordinate and execute focus groups and face to face interviews with immigrant communities.

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Increasing McMaster Students’ Use of SoBi Through Lifestyle Choices: Engaging Students in an Active Lifestyle

Challenge:
How can we get more students at McMaster University to incorporate physical activity into their day to day lives?
Students on the  SoBi  riding through McMaster Campus

Students on the SoBi riding through McMaster Campus

Students:
Nicole Crimi, Brian Zheng, Mostafa Mohammed, Daniel Park

Staff:
Don Curry, Health Promotion Specialist, Healthy and Safe Communities

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Pete Topalovic, Project Manager - Sustainable Mobility, Planning and Economic Development

Course and Department:
Innovation By Design (HTH SCI 4ID3), Department of Health Sciences

 
Students working on the project

Students working on the project

Physical activity affects many components of one’s health, and is something that through time, people have been consistently short of. This is prevalent in Hamilton when one considers that over 50% of car trips taken within the city are less than 1 km in distance. This has an effect on citizens’ health through increased pollution and increased non-communicable disease incidence such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. At the same time, when speaking with members of the community, it is clear that it is often difficult to visualize where active transit can fit in one’s life. Therefore, a strategy to engage citizens and help bring active transit closer to them is ideal.

Nicole, Brian, Mostafa and Daniel interviewed 8 McMaster students to understand goals, pain-points and ideas. They analyzed interview information and used empathy maps to develop key focus points, questions to tackle and design principles which were used in the development of our prototype. We aimed to use what we learned from the interviews to make our prototype user-oriented. Through a design-thinking approach they developed an app prototype which aims to engage students in an active lifestyle catered to their needs and interests. We shared this prototype with four McMaster students and stakeholders in order to obtain feedback and ideas for improvement. The students created a pilot website catered to the interests of students and locations around McMaster University to create a social network oriented around active transportation by presenting multiple points of interest that are accessible by SoBi Bikeshare. 

Next the Innovation by Design students will add maps with the locations of SoBi  stations to the website, and develop a method of keeping the website updated with information on events and points of interest. They are looking to partner with a software developer in order to extend website to an app in the future. Finally they hope to share pilot website with students/stakeholders at a McMaster event and market its presence by incorporating an incentives/rewards program in partnership with local businesses. 

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Mohawk College Community Project in Partnership with City Housing Hamilton

Challenge:
How might we provide excellent student learning opportunities while providing cost-effective renovations to CityHousing units to meet the
community need?
Mohawk student cutting trim to size

Mohawk student cutting trim to size

Student Names:
All second year students in the Building Renovation Technician Program

Staff Members:
Matt Bowen (Manager, Tenant Engagement & Support Services) & Brian Kinaschuk (Manager of Operations, CityHousing)

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Instructor:
Mark Lucking, John Deelstra, Brad MacDonald

Course and Department:
Construction Engineering Technician - Building Renovation – 462

Mohawk instructor teaching a student on-site

Mohawk instructor teaching a student on-site

While there is high demand for subsidized housing in Hamilton, CityHousing Hamilton has units that are not lived in because they need costly renovations and updates.

Students in their second year of the Building Technician Renovation Program at Mohawk College, are continuing their collaboration with CityHousing Hamilton to renovate city housing units that are unsuitable for use until renovations are complete. At this point schedules have been made and students are regularly working on job sitesDemolition and cleaning have been completed where necessary. Construction is well under way with the flooring having been replaced, and doors and trim being installed.

Next the students will install kitchens within both units including countertops and appliances. They will also renovate the bathrooms and install tiling, toilets, and general functionality while ensuring the space is a livable environment for families in need. 

Mohawk students installing a doorframe.

Mohawk students installing a doorframe.

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School Site Design Study: Impact of School Site Paved Surface Area on Travel Mode Choice

Challenge:
Is there any relation between paved surface area of school sites and the modes of transportation used to get to school?
Observing the number of vehicles coming and going

Observing the number of vehicles coming and going

Students:
Mina Mahdavi, Kamaldeep Kaur

Staff Member:
Kelly Scott, Physical Activity Specialist, Healthy Environments Division, Healthy & Safe Communities Department

Instructor:
Gail Krantzburg

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Course and Department:
Thesis project, W. Booth School of Engineering and Practice

 

In the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), there has been a steady decline in walking to and from school over the past 25 years, as children are increasingly dropped off and picked up by car. Data drawn from the 1986 to 2011 Transportation Tomorrow Survey shows that walking among 11 to 13 year olds in Hamilton has decreased from 58% in 1986 to 39% in 2011. This increase in car travel mode share to school in the GTHA, has added significant car traffic volume to roads during the morning peak period. Now schools are the second biggest car trip generator in the morning commute forming 22% of morning peak traffic, second only to workplaces, in the GTHA.

This project builds on the previous study “School Site Design and Travel Mode Choice: A Comparison of Objective and Subjective Measures of Walk ability of Schools in the Hamilton Area” completed February 2017.  The draft hypothesis for this project is “as the amount of school site motorized vehicle paved surface area increases so too does the use of motorized vehicles to the school site and surrounding streets”.  The information is intended to inform decisions about school site design that promotes the greatest mode share of walking and cycling, while reducing personal motorized vehicle use. 

  • Research indicates that there is a link between the built environment, and individual and population health
  • Sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity have been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Travel by motorized vehicles (personal vehicles & school buses) negatively impacting pedestrian and cyclist safety
  • Motorized vehicles contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that adversely impact respiratory and cardiac health
  • Availability of free parking and ‘kiss-and-rides” increases the use of motorized vehicles

Mina and Kamaldeep received ethics approval from the McMaster Research Ethics Office and the municipal school boards to observe 14 schools and collect data on the relationship between paved surfaces and modes of transportation. They will next interpret the data to determine relationships and provide recommendations for schools based on their findings. 

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