Alumni and friends help UCL research healthier cities

28 October 2010

This year the kind contributions of UCL alumni and friends have supported our academics as they undertake research into ‘Healthy Cities’. The Healthy Cities project will consider how changing the built environment might affect the health of its residents. 

This ranges from examining community-led sanitation projects in Mumbai to how social housing might affect mental health in London.  The project is cross-disciplinary and sees researchers from various departments at UCL collaborating to produce innovative conclusions.

The funding from UCL alumni and friends has allowed three research assistants to get involved in the project, all of whom are current UCL students.  These researchers provide essential support for the project, building up case studies of where interventions have affected health outcomes around the world.

Yvonne Rydin

Professor Yvonne Rydin, who is leading on ‘Healthy Cities’’, commented; “This is an extremely exciting area for UCL to be involved in.  We are taking the expertise that exists across various UCL faculties and departments, from the Bartlett School of Architecture to the Department of Philosophy, and applying it to a common question.  The money from alumni and friends has allowed us to devote hundreds of hours to essential background research.  This project has the potential to transform public health agendas and we are extremely grateful to UCL supporters for playing a part in it.”

‘Healthy Cities’ will continue the collaboration between ‘The Lancet’ and UCL.  In 2009 UCL and ‘The Lancet’ produced a report about managing the health effects of climate change.  This initiative was immensely successful and led to the commissioning of briefing papers on the same subject by the Commonwealth Secretariat.  It is hoped that the ‘Healthy Cities’ project will also achieve this level of impact.

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