School of Cities / Event

Knowledge Café | Indoor air quality, public health and COVID-19: a new guide for community spaces

We’re excited to open our 2022/2023 Knowledge Cafe Sessions with a 1.5hr special edition on “Reducing transmission of COVID-19 through improvements to indoor air quality: a checklist for community spaces.” A peer-reviewed, plain language, step-by-step guide outlining how community spaces can use indoor air quality measures to help reduce transmission of COVID-19. 

This ground-breaking guide was produced as part of an innovative, interdisciplinary partnership between Unity Health Network, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University and Toronto Metropolitan University. It is designed for use by: 

  • Public health authorities and governments; 
  • Facilities such as shelters, community centres, drop-ins and group homes; 
  • Communities and workers; 
  • Public health and engineering instructors and students.  

Learning outcomes: In this session, you’ll learn how to use engineering expertise to create safer spaces for workers, residents, visitors and communities. You’ll also learn how interdisciplinary and applied Knowledge Translation can help fill gaps left in public health practice and contribute to positive and material change.

This session will be hosted by the School of Cities, University of Toronto, and delivered by members of our interdisciplinary research team: 

Amy (Tianyuan) Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Li studies strategies to improve indoor air quality and reduce occupant exposure to airborne pollutants in residential and commercial buildings. 

Jeffrey Siegel is a Professor of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto and a member of the university’s Building Engineering Research Group. Dr. Siegel is internationally recognized for his work on indoor air quality generally and air cleaning specifically and is a fellow of ASHRAE and a member of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society for Indoor Air and Climate. 

LLana James conducts research that illuminates how technology can undermine or bolster human rights in the context of clinical care, rehabilitation science and public health. Her interdisciplinary and applied approach is designed to critically appraise current applications of technology, while developing and implementing interventions that seed new, ethical futures. As a result of her ground-breaking work, she is the inaugural AI, Medicine and Data Justice Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen’s University.  
Patricia O’Campo is Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at Unity Health Toronto and a Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. O’Campo is an international leader in social epidemiology and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Population Health Intervention Research. Her research focuses on quantifying the impacts of structural issues and social programs, and working to propose concrete solutions. 

Amy Katz is a Knowledge Translation Specialist at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Network, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Cities, University of Toronto. Her work is focused on increasing the accessibility and use of evidence that can help reduce harm in the context of health care and public health. 

Partners: This project is a partnership between the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Network; Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo; Centre for Health Innovation, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and School of Computing, Queen’s University; and Toronto Metropolitan University. Funding for this project was provided by the School of Cities, University of Toronto.