As we enter our second summer under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and communities look for ways to allow safe social interactions, many Canadian municipalities are considering—or, like Penticton and Edmonton have already allowed—alcohol consumption in public spaces like parks, beaches and city plazas. This week, Vancouver launched its own alcohol in parks pilot.

While a beer at the beach may sound like a nice idea for some, allowing drinking in these spaces may not only change their atmosphere but also be bad for public health in the long run. Researchers at UVic’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), led by director Dr. Tim Naimi, have created Not Just a Walk in the Park: Unsupervised Alcohol Consumption on Municipal Properties in BC, an evidence-based, public-health-oriented guide for municipalities as they consider allowing drinking in public outdoor spaces.

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University of Victoria – 2021-07-13.

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