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The Collaboratory for Research on Urban Neighbourhoods, Community Health and Housing (CRUNCH) began as an internationally-unique, five-year program to examine the complex effects of housing, neighbourhood-level, population-based interventions on health and its determinants, particularly for children. The Chair is funded until 2014 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Collaboratory began as an extension of the Chair’s activities, and now operates under Dr. Dunn’s supervision.

Since 2009, the research program has reviewed existing evidence on the health effects of neighbourhood interventions from Canada and other countries, developed and refined methods to investigate the effects of neighbourhood interventions on health, and conducted an ambitious program of primary research. 

CRUNCH provides: 

  • A knowledge base for action;
  • Facilities for innovative research, including software and hardware for surveys, and equipment for video-based neighbourhood research;
  • Training and mentoring for current and future practitioners of neighbourhood-based intervention research; and 
  • Knowledge mobilization for effective use by decision-makers, practitioners and the community.


The central focus of CRUNCH is understanding how complex, population-based interventions focusing on urban residential neighbourhoods may have positive effects on the health of residents. We believe that successfully applying interventions across contexts requires an understanding of how interventions work, not simply if they work.


Download a two-page summary (.pdf format) describing CRUNCH and its work here.

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