UCL Health of the Public


Equitable Mobilities and Health

Led by Prof Nick Tyler and Prof Jenny Mindell.


Equitable Mobilities and Health

Transport has a wide range of impacts on health and inequalities, including the benefits of access to education, jobs, goods, services, and social networks; independence; and opportunities for physical activity. Adverse impacts include exposure to noise and air pollution; road travel injuries from collisions and falls; community severance; greenhouse gas emissions; urban heat islands; contamination; reduced green and blue spaces; and aesthetics. In car-dominated societies, the benefits accrue most to affluent groups and harms fall on disadvantaged groups, particularly the poor, the old and the young, and women.

Transport policies to promote health (reducing mental and physical illness and improving wellbeing) have many synergies with low carbon policies, and so can bring co-benefits. ‘Mobilities’ includes active and inactive travel but also not moving at all (e.g. lingering, using public spaces for social purposes), rather than just the more normal movement-dominated “transport” like cars, buses, and trains. Social cohesion has important consequences for mental, physical and sensory health and wellbeing, and should be the primary objective for public design.

Harnessing the wealth of expertise of researchers from across UCL, this academic community will help to cement individual cross-disciplinary relationships and introduce and support new individuals and disciplines to work together. It will bring together a wide range of skills, knowledge and expertise to tackle some of the wicked problems that prevent many sectors of the population accessing the benefits of transport while exposing them to its harmful health effects.

Our activities

Our initial activities will use the PEARL facility to bring people together for networking, to extend the range of individuals, disciplines, and research groups with whom they interact.

The four main types of activities will be:

  •   Workshops to brainstorm cross-disciplinary grant bids
  •   Workshops to facilitate transdisciplinary working utilising PEARL’s unique facilities
  •   Meetings with policy-makers
  •   Support for writing transdisciplinary grant bids
Expected outputs

In bringing together this community, we aim to be better positioned to apply for research grants, contribute to intellectual development, produce research and publish papers that better address policy-makers’ needs and has greater influence on policy. In the education sphere, we would like to include provision of cross-disciplinary PhDs, and produce a new cross-disciplinary module on transport, health, and inequalities for existing MSc courses, such as Transport (CEGE), Population Health (FPHS), Health in Urban Development (Bartlett) and Spatial Planning (Bartlett). We will also develop a bid for a transdisciplinary doctoral training programme/centre. 

Key academics, research groups, and departments

Our community brings together a number of research groups and departments at UCL:

Dr Evangelia Chrysikou (Real Estate), Prof Robin Hickman (School of Planning) & Dr Ash Dhanani (Architecture)The natural and built environment: architecture; landscape; town planning spatial planning/ land use planning; space syntax
Dr Ellie Cosgrave (STEaPP), Prof Helena Titheridge (CEGE)The demographic, social and cultural environment
Prof Liz Varga, (CEGE)Infrastructure Systems Community

Dr Kate Roll (Institute for Innovation and Public Policy), Dr Elena Pizzo (Institute of Epidemiolgy and Health), Dr Paulo Anciaes (CEGE)

The political, economic, and commercial environment; Health economics, Transport economics
Dr Bani Anvari (CEGE); Dr Adam Dennett (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis)The digital and technological environment:
Dr Myrrh Domingo (IOE)The educational and occupational environment:
Dr Jo Hale, Prof Helene Joffe (both Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences)The behavioural environment: Behavioural change; Psychology
Prof Gabriella Vigliocco, Prof Hugo Spiers (both (Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences) and others (including Nick Tyler)The neurological/psychological Environment: The Ecological Brain DTP
Dr Ruth Bell (Institute of Epidemiology & Health)Health Inequalities Institute for Health Equality
Dr Lara Gosce (Institute for Global Health); Dr Emily Morris (Institute of the Americas)The global context
Prof Peter Jones, Prof Nicola Christie (both CEGE)Transport
Prof Nicola Shelton, Dr Jemima Stockton (both Institute of Epidemiology & Health)Health and Social Surveys
Prof Oli Duke-Williams (Dept of Information Studies)Information Studies

Prof Julio Davila, Daniel Oviedo Hernandez (both DPU)

Transport and development: Governance; Inequalities; Transitions; Global South