Identifying metrics to measure the success of built environment interventions: A Rapid Scoping Review

Author(s): Pitt, Malzer, Lee, McCormack, Hagel

Poster Presentation:

Poster link



Design of communities, including roadways and amenities, can have important effects on safe physical activity of community members. Municipal policies are often used as a tool to guide traffic calming and built environment changes within communities to address safety concerns and enhance community livability. The City of Calgary is updating the current Traffic Calming Policy (originally passed in 2003) with a Neighbourhood Streets Policy. To supplement this policy, a toolkit that consists of evaluation metrics will be developed and piloted on nine projects through the summer and fall of 2021.


To identify relevant metrics that can be used for the evaluation of built environment changes through the Neighbourhood Streets Policy.


Because the project aims are relatively wide and time sensitive, this project will use a rapid scoping review methodology to scan the published and grey literature that has previously evaluated built environment interventions. Scoping review methodology will allow for mapping and describing the current landscape of the research including possible interventions, outcomes, and their related evaluation metrics.

This review will follow PRISMA-SCr guidelines. Briefly, the rapid scoping review will consist of developing a search strategy that includes subject headings and key words related to built environment interventions. Relevant databases (e.g., MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed) will be searched with the help of a health research librarian. Since the aim is to update the 2003 Traffic Calming Policy, the text search will be restricted to work published after 2003. Search results will be imported to a reference manager software for data management and de-duplication of results. Next, a researcher will scan the titles and abstracts of results for articles that will move on to full-text screening. Next, a review of the full articles for inclusion will be conducted. Inclusion criteria will be established iteratively and described in further detail, but broadly, articles must include physical interventions to an urban roadway and a formal evaluation with clearly defined and measurable outcomes.


The anticipated results will consist of data extracted from the full-text scan. These results will be categorized by outcome, physical intervention, and metrics used to evaluate the intervention.


The data extracted from this review will serve as a list of possible evaluation metrics. Future directions, beyond the scope of this review will include workshops to generate metrics that may (or may not) have been capture in the review. Additionally, future directions will have content experts rank these metrics based on feasibility and importance.


The results of the rapid review will be used to, after identifying relevant metrics, develop an evaluation toolkit that can be applied to projects related to built environment changes in Calgary. The toolkit developed will be piloted in the Summer and Fall of 2021 on nine projects.