UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Systems Thinking

IEDE aims to inform complex policy decisions via ’systems thinking', leading to better outcomes for sustainability, health and equity while reducing unintended harms.

UCL IEDE systems thinking

We consider decision-making in an integrated way that involves collaborative learning by policy, community, research and industry representatives. Our systems thinking approach tackles grand challenges in an integrated way, focusing on non-linear and long-term effects.

To do this we must use different decision-making processes, and methods that successfully support these processes. Here, we combine system dynamics modelling, participatory system dynamics, qualitative research and systems engineering. We work collaboratively with stakeholders to co-create solutions that have better prospects of co-benefits and of being sustainably implemented.

Research Topics
  • Systems thinking methods such as system dynamics modelling
  • Indoor environments and human performance
  • Designing healthy and low-energy buildings
  • Sustainable and healthy cities
  • Green infrastructure
  • Urban water systems
  • Planetary health and the built environment
  • Participatory system dynamics
  • Organisational change
  • Inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration
Research Projects

Best practices for tower refurbishment
CBES platform grant: built environment systems thinking
TOP (‘The  Total  Performance  of  Low  Carbon  Buildings  in  China  and  the  UK’)

MSc Programmes
PhD Supervisors and Investigators

Sarah Bell
Mike Davies
Helen Pineo
Nici Zimmermann