Skin Cancer Prevention by Design

Designing outdoor spaces with shade in mind can reduce exposure to UVR for skin cancer prevention.

The way that our communities are planned and built impacts our health. Designing outdoor spaces with shade in mind can reduce exposure to UVR for skin cancer prevention.

Shade offers passive universal protection. Unlike individual sun safety behaviours, like wearing a hat or applying sunscreen, shade does not require that individuals practice the behaviours and remember to do so. Shade cannot be forgotten at home. It’s there when you need it!

When planned correctly, good quality shade can reduce UVR exposure by up to 75%.

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An increasing number of settings, organizations and municipalities are recognizing the need for shade and the opportunity to plan for quality shade.

As awareness about the risks associated with UVR increase, so does the demand for outdoor facilities (parks, pools, sports and recreation facilities) to provide adequate shade for UVR protection, especially when they are visited by more vulnerable groups, such as children.

Sun Smart Saskatchewan set out to conduct a shade audit in Saskatoon to…
…Demonstrate the process for conducting a shade audit
…Highlight positive features and make recommendations for improvements at the shade audit site
…Raise awareness about designing outdoor spaces with shade in mind

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  • The Shade Handbook. Cancer Council New South Wales, 2008.
  • The Shade Policy for the City of Toronto Shade Guidelines. Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition, 2010.
  • Bowler, D. E., Buyung-Ali, L. M., Knight, T. M., & Pullin, A. S. (2010). A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments. BMC Public Health,10 (1), 456.
  • Parisi AV, Turnbull DJ. Shade provision for UV minimization: a review. Photochem Photobiol. 2014;90(3):479-90.
  • Shade for Everyone: A practical guide for shade development. Carlton: Cancer Council Victoria, 2004.
  • Shade Audit Information Guide + Tool: A Guide for Creating Shady Outdoor Spaces, Waterloo Region Shade Work Group.
  • Greenwood JS, Soulos GP, Thomas ND. Under cover: Guidelines for shade planning and design. NSW Cancer Council and NSW Health Department Sydney, 1998.

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