About Us

Six people wearing PEACH shirts and face masks stand in a row and smile.
Photo credit: Nick Pearce.

PEACH Research Unit is part of Dalhousie University’s School of Planning in Halifax, NS. We are a team of dedicated faculty members, students, and partners who lead and support projects exploring how planning can better achieve more equitable, accessible, and healthy communities. Our work aims to inform urban design and planning practices that shape the places in which we live, work, and play.

We believe in learning through collaboration and first-hand experience. A big part of our research is learning from those who have personal knowledge of the barriers that exist in the built environment. We are very thankful to those who volunteer with us to engage with community members and conduct research activities.

Our Team Members

A smiling woman with dark hair wearing a yellow sweater

Mikiko Terashima, PhD

Lead Researcher

Mikiko is an Associate Professor at the Dalhousie School of Planning, cross-appointed with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Mikiko’s research interests centre around methods of measuring various social and built environmental forces that create systematic inequalities in health and well-being among different groups of people across different places. One of her current areas of research involves investigations of spatial accessibility to services necessary for the population to maintain health and well-being such as food outlets and primary health services. Another area of interest for Mikiko deals with a different kind of accessibility — the built environment that enables or hinders the use of space by individuals with different types and levels of mobility (primarily individuals with different sensory impairments and older persons).

Kate Clark, MPlan

Project Coordinator

Kate has been performing research with Dalhousie’s School of Planning since graduating with her Master of Planning in June 2018. She has been an active team member of the SAMoSA Study, performing community outreach during the release of the SAMoSA survey. Kate has also contributed to planning research projects looking at climate change adaptation, the valuation of ecological benefits from nature-based infrastructure, and the operationalizing of sense of place for planning communities.

A smiling woman posing in front of a natural landscape

Katherine Deturbide, MPlan

Research Analyst

Katherine is a recent Dalhousie graduate having completed her Master of Planning degree in June 2020. Prior to her studies in planning, she obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies in Architecture and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology. Her interests include transit-oriented development, urban design, and healthy communities.

Ashley Gaudet

Research Assistant

Ashley graduated from Acadia University in the Community Development program in 2019 and she is now a recent graduate student of the Master of Planning program at Dalhousie. Ashley is passionate about making the built environment accessible. Her interest include accessibility, urban design and building healthy communities.  

A smiling woman in a graduation gown

Katie Vaughan

Research Assistant

Katie graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with BA Kinesiology with Honours (thesis title: Design, Usability, and Accessibility for All: A Case Study of a Rural Recreation Facility). She is a recent graduate of the Master of Planning program at Dalhousie with research interests in accessibility, universal design, and population health.

Partners and Collaborators

As part of our research, we have formed several valuable partnerships with decision-makers, educators, and experts in the fields of planning and accessibility. These partnerships build shared knowledge and understanding of the barriers to, and solutions for, inclusion and accessibility in the built environment.

Some of our partners include: