Scottish Canals Health Research

In 2020, a global first health study led by Glasgow Caledonian University in partnership with Scottish Canals and facilitated by The Data Lab, revealed a faster rate of decline (3% annually) in mortality rates in urban areas close to canals that have undergone major transformation and regeneration, compared to areas further away.

The research, which looked at the impact of regeneration along the Forth & Clyde Canal in North Glasgow – one of Europe’s most deprived areas – highlights the significant physical and mental wellbeing benefits that can be achieved from investing in regenerating urban waterways globally.
In 2021, a second research was released that found that residing within 700 metres of the canal was connected to a lower risk of chronic health issues in areas of significant socioeconomic hardship. People who lived within 700 metres of the canal had a 15% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 15% lower risk of hypertension, a 15% lower risk of stroke, a 12 percent lower risk of diabetes, and a 10% lower risk of incident obesity as compared to those who lived 700-1400 metres away.