The Scandinavian Effect

A diagnostic toolkit for equitable, green and healthy neighbourhoods and cities

Cities are increasingly grappling with major challenges and threats, like aging populations, climate change and poor environmental health. In the face of these issues, our client, 8 80 Cities, aims to empower communities to create healthy, green, and equitable neighbourhoods that prioritize active transportation and access to vibrant public spaces through collaborative planning. 8 80 Cities, a non-profit organization concerned with creating age-friendly cities. Their guiding philosophy is that city-building decisions that are good for 8 year olds and 80 year olds will be great for all people.

The studio group was tasked with creating a diagnostic toolkit that enables  local city building groups to evaluate how healthy, green and equitable their neighbourhood is, using an 8 80 lens. The objective is to develop a toolkit that will enable local actors to collaboratively identify and diagnose local barriers to meaningful civic engagement, well-loved public realm and parks, and safe and accessible active transportation; and, through this process, build community capacity for transformational change.

The metrics contained within the toolkit were inspired by field research in Scandinavia, specifically within three areas of focus: civic engagement, public realm and parks, and active transportation.

In summer 2018, 8 80 Cities will launch the first iteration of the diagnostic toolkit. This toolkit will guide their work in communities across North America.




8 80 Cities

Team Members

Michelle Rowland, Arleigh Hack, Bria Aird, Jennifer Le, Olivia Magalhaes, James Schofield