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Graduate Student Contributes to Groundbreaking Local Research through Community Research Project

A flourishing project gets people moving in a Peterborough neighbourhood

Happy, healthy neighbourhoods – this is the focus of a multifaceted partnership and the work of Trent graduate student Tessa Nasca and the Trent Community Research Centre (TCRC).

Ms. Nasca, a graduate student in the Masters of Sustainability Studies program, is participating in groundbreaking local research that is bringing together a number of organizations under the umbrella of Active Neighbourhood Canada (ANC).

According to Todd Barr, executive director of the TCRC, the ANC project “reimagines our public spaces, namely our streets and sidewalks.” It also “envisions how diverse pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicle drivers can share this space among each other.”

ANC projects, which are sprouting up in 12 neighbourhoods across Canada, are developed with a participatory planning model - meaning a number of community players are active in all stages of the work. On a more individual level, residents of the actual neighbourhood are engaged in the planning processes.

In this case, Ms. Nasca is working with GreenUP, the City of Peterborough, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, and B!KE: The Peterborough Community Cycling Hub in the Stewart Street and Area Downtown-South neighbourhood. This project will run until April 2016 and Ms. Nasca is thrilled to work with the community in developing her research.

“An important goal of my research is to empower residents and support them as they develop the tools, relationships and confidence necessary to advance their vision and advocate for a green, active and healthy neighbourhood."

Ms. Nasca’s research is made possible by Communities First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded Partnership Grant.

Trent Professor Dr. Stephen Hill will be speaking about the project at the Higher Education in Transformation conference in Dublin, Ireland, in early April.

Can’t make it to Dublin? Then come out to the Community Innovation Forum: Knowledge and Talent in Action forum on March 26 at the Peterborough Golf and County Club. From 12:30 to 6:30 pm. Visitors can preview 32 community-based research projects that have taken place in the Peterborough community over the past year. Ms. Nasca will be there to present on the ANC project. For more details visit

Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

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