Human Environments Avalysis Laboratory

About Us

Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL)

The HEAL is a state-of-the-art, inter-disciplinary research and training environment which specializes in the production, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination and mobilization of evidence to support effective policies, programs and professional practice aimed at creating healthy and vibrant communities. We examine social and physical environments from the scale of entire regions down to the level of individual buildings or open spaces and their inhabitants. We specialize in community-based participatory research and applications of GIS for urban planning and public health.

Graduate students are the core of the HEAL, and team members come from various disciplines, including: geography, planning, health sciences, epidemiology & biostatistics, sociology, paediatrics, food and nutritional sciences. We also work closely with planners, developers, builders and health professionals as well as policy-makers throughout the province, municipalities, and regional school boards.

Current projects focus on issues related to urban development, children's geographies, urban health (physical activity, obesity, food security, gambling, air pollution), transportation (walkability, traffic modelling), disasters (impacts of fires and floods), and urban historical geography (urban form, mobility).

Current/recent clients include: City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Chatham-Kent Public Health, Lambton County Public Health, Grey Bruce Public Health, the Old East Village Business Improvement Area, and others.

Funding for the HEAL and related research projects has been provided by the University of Western Ontario - Academic Development Fund, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Children's Health Research Institute, the Children's Health Foundation, the Green Shield Canada Foundation, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Location: Social Science Centre, The University of Western Ontario

For more information, contact HEAL Director: Dr. Jason Gilliland,