Health and the Built Environment

This team is looking at how the built environment in Mississauga and Peel affects type 2 diabetes risk and identifying ways to reduce these risks through changes to policy and infrastructure.


  1. To understand the impact of local changes in resources, policies and interventions on health, health behaviours, and well-being. 
  2. To understand whether prior and planned built environment interventions in the Region of Peel align with community need, and to model the cost-benefits of shifting new resources and infrastructure towards high need communities.
  3. To identify avenues and opportunities for equitable built environment policies, targeting high-need communities in the Region of Peel, to create healthier environments to support type 2 diabetes and chronic disease prevention.

Lead Investigators


Sarah Mah, PhD

Dr. Sarah Mah is a postdoctoral fellow with the Population Health Analytics Laboratory at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Statistics Canada. Her current research focuses on the relationship between sense of belonging to community and population health outcomes including diabetes and chronic disease-related outcomes, and the role neighborhood built environments may play in influencing these relationships.

Gillian Booth

Gillian Booth, MD, MSc

Dr. Gillian Booth is a Scientist at Unity Health Toronto's MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Policy Solutions for Diabetes Prevention and Management. She is also a Senior Adjunct Scientist at ICES, a Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, and a practicing endocrinologist. Gillian’s research focuses on health outcomes related to diabetes; specifically, how socioeconomic, environmental and health care factors influence the risk of diabetes and its complications. One of her major research interests is on the built environment and its role in the obesity and diabetes epidemics.