Checking Kingston's Equity Pulse: An application and critical evaluation of the Urban HEART@Toronto methodology to investigate the intra-city social and health inequities of Kingston, ON
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The relationship between social and material well-being and a good state of health is not spurious. This relationship has been regarded to be a significant explanatory factor in understanding the existence of health disparities between groups of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently created its own tool for measuring social and health inequities called the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART). Unlike most other Area-Based Deprivation Indices (ABDIs), the Urban HEART includes indicators for physical environment and infrastructure, population health, and governance and civic engagement. In this way, the tool stands out as a sui generis ABDI that expands the traditional model of how social and health inequities are measured. The Centre for Research in Inner City Health has since adapted the tool to fit the context of Canada’s largest city: Toronto, Ontario. This study will apply the Urban HEART@Toronto methodology in a medium-size city in Canada: Kingston, Ontario. The intention is to not only map out the social and health inequities within the city, but to critically investigate the methodology’s effectiveness and suitability in a medium-size city context, as compared with other ABDIs. With this information, the research will be able to speak to whether or not the Urban HEART@Toronto methodology is a more valuable tool for measuring social and health inequities than the alternatives.
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