PHAC: Dementia-Friendly Environment Project 

PHAC: Dementia-Friendly Environment Project

Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, this project aims to improve how people living with dementia, and their care partners, access their communities. DemSCAPE (Dementia-inclusive Streets and Community Access, Participation and Engagement) is a three-phase project. Our results will inform city planners and service providers information on how to better design spaces to reduce anxiety and keep people with dementia independent and mobile and have a better quality of life.

Image by Photographer Peter Kindersley

Participatory research with people living with dementia:

People living with dementia and their care partners in Metro Vancouver and Prince George will engage in a participatory research process. These voices and sharing of persons living with dementia will guide researchers to understand their challenges in the neighbourhoods.

Working with three cities and the Alzheimer Society of BC:

Researchers will work with three communities, the cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Prince George, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. The three communities were chosen as they were active and committed to making their municipalities dementia-friendly.

Our project phases:

  • The first phase is to identify different needs in their neighborhoods with people living with dementia through interviews.
  • The second phase is to create a planning and design guide for urban planners and engineers to help them be more inclusive of people with dementia in their work.
  • The third phase is to raise public awareness by having conversations and workshops.

DemSCAPE is now in the data analysis phase.

Image by Photographer Peter Kindersley

Who is leading the project?

SFU gerontology professor Dr. Habib Chaudhury is the project lead. Dr. Lillian Hung, Canada Research Chair and founder of UBC IDEA lab is the co-lead. Research collaborators include: Dr. Alison Phinney, co-director of the Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia at UBC; UNBC researcher Dr. Shannon Freeman, associate professor of nursing; and Dr. Mark Groulx, professor with the School of Planning and Sustainability, also at UNBC.

Which IDEA Lab Members are part of this project?

Joey Wong is the project coordinator and Lily Ren is responsible for the knowledge translation in the project. Please email Joey Wong at or Lily Ren at

To learn more about the project and the updates, follow the social media of DemSCAPE:


Facebook:  @DemSCAPE

LinkedIn:   @DemSCAPEBC

Twitter:      @DemSCAPEbc



Media Coverage

We also presented at GSA 2022! On November 4, 2022 the team of DemSCAPE attended the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Conference. Our SFU Research Coordinator Kishore Seetharaman and Metro Vancouver Project Manager Cari Randa delivered an excellent oral presentation of “Methodological and Ethical Reflections from Research on Neighbourhood-Built Environment and Dementia” co-authored by Dr. Habib Chaudhury, Dr. Lillian Hung, Dr. Shannon Freeman and Dr. Mark Groulx.

Photos from us!

On Thursday, December 8, 2022, the DemSCAPE is so happy to join the holiday party together with colleagues from MAP-SWAN, AIRP and HEY Neighbour Collective projects! We sincerely appreciate Dr. Atiya Mahmood and Dr. Habib Chaudhury for launching this joyous get-together for all of us!