UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Complex Urban Systems for Sustainability and Health (CUSSH)

CUSSH is a five-year Wellcome Trust funded project that will deliver key global research on the systems that connect urban development and population health.

Nairobi city

9 November 2023

Since 2018, CUSSH has worked with thirteen partner organisations across four continents to help cities develop in ways which improve population health and environmental sustainability. In each of six cities London (UK), Rennes (France), Kisumu and Nairobi (Kenya), and Beijing and Ningbo (China) its work focuses both on local priorities and city-scale actions aligned with planetary health.

Through our close partnerships with local organisations, CUSSH will learn how policy decisions to achieve health and sustainability goals can be improved and accelerated. To do this, our process includes steps that we hope will provide evidence essential to achieving population-level changes in areas including energy provision, transport infrastructure, green infrastructure, water and sanitation, and housing.

Key actions:

  1. reviews of evidence on potential solutions

  2. development and application of methods for tracking

  3. the progress of cities towards sustainability and health goals

  4. development/application of models to assess the impact on population health, health inequalities, socio- economic development and environmental parameters of urban development strategies 

  5. engagements with stakeholders in partner cities, based on participatory methods, to test/deliver the implementation of the transformative changes needed to meet health and sustainability objectives

  6. public engagement and training, based on principles of co-generation of research

Visit the CUSSH website 

News & Blogs from the CUSSH Project

Learning from transdisciplinary research - workshop reflections

During October 2023 a group of 11 researchers and practitioners met online to share their experiences and learnings from working on different transdisciplinary research (TDR) projects.  The aim was to draw from our own experiences to explore the challenges and opportunities on working on projects that involve range of disciplines, knowledges and expertise outside the academia, which interact and influence each other in non-linear ways, to address a research problem or agenda. The workshop reflections and a visual output are documented.