What is the SMART Training Platform?

The Implementing Smart Cities Interventions to Build Healthy Cities (SMART) Training Platform aims to equip the next generation of researchers to implement successful, scalable and enduring solutions to healthy city challenges facing growing urban centres of all sizes in Canada and globally.

The SMART Training Platform was the successful training platform grant submission to Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Healthy Cities Research Initiative.  In 2021, we were awarded $4.95 million over 6 years to develop the training platform and train up to 460 students in implementation science and healthy cities and communities.  

The project is led by Dr. David Ma from University of Guelph, Dr. Laurette Dube from McGill University and Dr.Miyoung Suh from University of Manitoba.  Our team also includes 33 faculty from University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, University of Montreal, University of Sherbrooke, Laval University and Dawson College.

The SMART Training Platform was built upon three Canada Smart Cities Challenge projects from the City of Guelph, City of Montreal and the Town The Pas and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) in Manitoba.  These initiatives all have a shared focus on health, food security and resilient food systems and combine to provide a rich ecosystem of experiential learning opportunities, research projects and access to community collaborators to participating students. 

The training program is open to students enrolled at one of the 10 participating post-secondary institutions across Canada, who are interested in learning about implementation science to support the development of healthy cities and communities using food and food systems to improve population health. 

Students will learn state-of-the-art implementation science methods that range from effective community engagement to computational science and participate in a convergence-by design experiential learning laboratory in which real-world healthy cities challenges will be tackled through design thinking and co-creation, using big data and digital technology like AI to accelerate transdisciplinary collaboration. 

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