Exeter in new £7m consortium to boost nature’s impact on health inequalities
A new consortium involving the University of Exeter has been awarded more than £7.1 million from the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) to investigate the impact that nature can have in helping to prevent and reduce health inequalities in urban areas.
It is well known that health is shaped by social and political decision-making, with poorer health outcomes often experienced amongst, for example, ethnic minorities and people who are geographically isolated or socio-economically marginalised. Research has also shown that experiences of urban nature can benefit health, particularly when accessible to all. The project will seek to explore how accessing parks and other natural spaces impacts these inequalities
The Consortium, ‘GroundsWell: Community-engaged and Data-informed Systems Transformation of Urban Green and Blue Space for Population Health’ will explore how transforming cities with nature can reduce health inequalities, primarily around chronic and non-infectious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and mental health.
The consortium is led by Queen’s University Belfast, University of Edinburgh and University of Liverpool and also includes the universities of Glasgow, Cranfield, Liverpool John Moore’s University, and Lancaster.
Over the five-year project, the interdisciplinary team will develop innovative approaches to work with communities where there are high levels of health inequalities. They will work with communities as key partners to develop and implement ways to improve health inequalities and prevent a range of chronic illnesses through harnessing the positive impact of nature.
Dr Ruth Hunter, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and Groundswell Co-Director, alongside Professor Ruth Jepson, from the University of Edinburgh and Professor Sarah Rodgers, from the University of Liverpool, said: “There is strong evidence that natural environments within urban areas, such as parks, woodlands (green spaces) as well as lakes and beaches (blue spaces), have positive impacts on health.
“These urban green and blue spaces could be huge assets for protecting and equalising health if they were available, accessible, valued and well-used, particularly by less advantaged groups. The problem is that they are not, which is what this project aims to address.”
UKPRP supports multidisciplinary teams looking at ways to prevent non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, poor mental health, obesity, cancer and diabetes. Non-communicable diseases make up the majority of illnesses in the UK and account for an estimated 89 per cent of all deaths.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England and Chair of the UKPRP Scientific Advisory Board, said: “UKPRP is an important and timely programme that we need to address health inequalities and prevent the onset of non-communicable disease.
“The projects funded under this programme are pushing the boundaries of prevention research by taking multidisciplinary approaches to addressing the complexities of population health, with the aim of improving people’s lives and health.
“As we look to build back fairer from the pandemic, the creation of healthy communities and places is a key priority.”
The University of Exeter team will focus on working with policy and practice at all scales (e.g. national to local) to address how greenspace decisions are made, and if, and how health impacts are prioritised in those processes. They will explore the various motivations and drivers, and conceptions of responsibility, agency and accountability held by key stakeholders in decision making. University of Exeter lead Dr Becca Lovell said:
“Despite growing recognition of their importance for health, there are still serious challenges to effective decision making regarding the use, preservation, and promotion of green and blue spaces. We will work with both policy and practice stakeholders, as well as local communities to explore how we can better make decisions about this important societal resource”.
The team will also explore how to meaningfully involve communities in decision making. University of Exeter research team member, Dr Sarah Bell, said:
“This is also a great opportunity to develop approaches that support participation in greenspace decision-making in ways that are meaningful to, and driven by, more marginalised community members and which acknowledge problematic histories of the neglect or exclusion around urban green and blue spaces”.
- 13/10/2021 - From Lausanne: “Sauvageons en ville” - Discovering nature in the city in surprising places, questioning the links we have with it and experimenting with ways to make the city wilder.
- 13/10/2021 - New updates from Lublin!
- 04/10/2021 - Next EUniverCities meeting in Parma: 1-3 December
- 30/09/2021 - Aurora Talks: Perspectives for Europe! Universität Innsbruck in conversation with Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn
- 28/09/2021 - The Company by Gentrepreneur
- 18/09/2021 - Exeter in new £7m consortium to boost nature’s impact on health inequalities
- 06/09/2021 - West University of Timișoara launches a new Artificial Intelligence HUB: “Timișoara Research in Artificial Intelligence Network (TRAIN)”
- 26/07/2021 - Parma University City: here are the results of the research conducted by the University on students
- 21/07/2021 - Some updates from Malaga: an artificial intelligence (AI) initiative and an "Entrepreneurial University"
- 18/07/2021 - Innsbruck reads – again!
- 13/07/2021 - Magdeburg backs Education for Sustainable Development
- 05/07/2021 - Some UPDATES from Lublin!
- 28/06/2021 - Career support programme offers an opportunity for an ever-growing Swedish job-market
- 22/06/2021 - #EUniverCitiesTalks #3
- 19/06/2021 - Award « Prix de la Ville de Lausanne » 2021
- 15/06/2021 - Coordination, Response and Networked Resilience (CORNER) in Trondheim
- 03/06/2021 - Ghent Hub helps education to tackle social inequality in learning
- 31/05/2021 - Online Meeting of Timisoara – final program
- 28/05/2021 - #sciencematters - 15th LONG NIGHT OF SCIENCE MAGDEBURG DIGITAL streams 18 hours of live program on three channels
- 27/05/2021 - The University of Exeter extends its business support to the whole region
- 25/05/2021 - WUT2023 for TM2023
- 10/05/2021 - Online Meeting of Timisoara – first draft program
- 08/05/2021 - Malaga: 1st. University campus to face depopulation in rural areas
- 03/05/2021 - Ambassadors of Legality
- 26/04/2021 - SCHAUWERK
- 12/04/2021 - Two new initiatives from Lublin!
- 06/04/2021 - Störningsfri stad - Visualized construction traffic planning for a city development without interference of construction traffic
- 25/03/2021 - Pilot test of pedestrian cameras (bodycam) in the canton of Vaud and in the city of Lausanne.
- 21/03/2021 - Innsbruck as a European Universities hub
- 17/03/2021 - Lublin wins the European Youth Capital 2023 title!
- 11/03/2021 - Green Seeds Ghent – a 3ID-LABS project of Artevelde University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the City of Ghent
- 05/03/2021 - 3 News stories from Exeter
- 28/02/2021 - Aveiro’s Environment Use Case
- 22/02/2021 - 3rd Lausanne online meeting: Student involvement in city-university collaboration: from ad hoc to a structural approach.
- 21/02/2021 - Culture and European Peace at the center of collaboration between University and City in Parma
- 08/02/2021 - The West University of Timișoara – a landmark of cultural development in the Banat region
- 03/02/2021 - 2020 - One year online with the EUniverCities Network
- 27/01/2021 - Digital Content Hub: a successful example of collaboration by the City of Malaga and the University of Malaga´s Network of Strategic Chairs
- 25/01/2021 - 2nd Lausanne online meeting: Strategic City - University collaborations: how to make them work?
- 12/01/2021 - Greater Magdeburg becomes a model region for intelligent mobility
- 11/01/2021 - City and University of Lausanne together for climate and sustainability
- 27/12/2020 - Lublin: prestigious recognitions for the City and the University
- 22/12/2020 - Autonomous drone flight between Linköping and Norrköping in 2022
- 21/12/2020 - Innsbruck: Emperor-Maximilian-Prize unites
- 09/12/2020 - City of Ghent supports European University Network ENLIGHT coordinated by Ghent University
- 30/11/2020 - City and University of Exeter join forces in multiple projects, with many EUniverCities partners too!
- 23/11/2020 - Aveiro: Municipality and University Empowering Steam Education
- 18/11/2020 - Parma: Municipality, University and students united for non-resident university students
- 17/11/2020 - Lausanne online meeting 17-18 November - Final Program
- 30/10/2020 - The new EUniverCities network website is born