UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Complex Urban Systems for Sustainability and Health (CUSSH)

Principal InvestigatorProfessor Mike Davies (UCL)

Prof Susan Michie (UCL)
Prof David Osrin (UCL)
Prof Paul Wilkinson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Prof Andrew Haines (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Dr Catherine Kyobutungi (African Population and Health Research Center)
Mr Lawrie Robertson (Buro Happold)
Dr Qiyong Liu (Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Prof Mauricio Barreto (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation)
Ms Anne Stauffer (Health and Environment Alliance)
Dr Markus Amann (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)
Dr Sani Dimitroulopoulou (Public Health England)
Prof Tong Zhu (Peking University)
Prof Corinne Le Quéré (University of East Anglia)
Prof Anthony Capon (University of Sydney)
Prof Jonathan Patz (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Other UCL team membersDr Arash Baghaei Lakeh,
Kaveh Dianati,
Dr Jo Hale,
Dr Aarathi Prasad,
Dr Phil Symonds,
Dr Jonathon Taylor,
Dr Nici Zimmermann
FunderWellcome Trust: Our Planet, Our Health
Project start and end datesFebruary 2018 – January 2022
Project websitewww.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/environmental-design/cussh
Project Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ComplexUrbanSys

Project aims

Working with partner cities in France, China and Kenya, the project will assist decision-makers and the public about areas of development that afford the greatest opportunities for health and sustainability.
CUSSH aims to conduct research and improve capacity to guide transformational changes in cities to meet environmental imperatives and improve the health and wellbeing of current and future populations by harnessing the benefits of sustainable policies and minimizing potential adverse consequences of global technological, environmental and social change.

Project details

CUSSH will develop critical evidence on how to achieve the far-reaching transformation of cities needed to address vital environmental imperatives for population and planetary health in the 21st century. We will use cutting-edge science and systems-based participatory methods to articulate visions of development, help shape policy decisions, and accelerate the implementation of transformational changes for health and sustainability in low, middle and high-income settings.

The negative environmental consequences of human activity represent an unprecedented threat to human health and well-being. Yet, to date no city has succeeded in implementing a pathway of development that is consistently and demonstrably on track to deliver long-term environment and health goals that fulfil both local needs and the increasingly urgent imperatives for planetary health.

In the CUSSH project we will:

  • Articulate the opportunities for achieving major health and sustainability objectives through urban development
  • Use research evidence to inform decision-makers and the public about the pathways of development that provide the greatest opportunities for health and sustainability, and to track progress towards the fulfilment of agreed goals
  • Identify the methods and factors crucial to successful implementation of development strategies that take full account of the needs and opportunities for health and sustainability in urban living