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Planning and design interventions for improving the wellbeing of vulnerable groups

Such environments provide all citizens with equal opportunities, regardless of their gender, age, health, socio-economic status, etc. Planning and designing urban environments with such characteristics have been attempted; however, it has proven to be a challenging endeavour.

Our approach

It is widely believed that an interdisciplinary approach is required to understand how urban environments can nurture and enhance wellbeing and a sense of belonging among citizens, particularly among vulnerable groups (ie. women, children, people with disabilities, older people, and low-income households as recognised by the United Nations).

It is important to identify ways of promoting a more bottom-up participatory approach to policy-making in urban planning/design where all citizens, including vulnerable groups, can provide their input on how design might help to make their lives not only healthier but also happier.

Sustainable Development Goals

Targeting Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), this research project explores:

  • how urban planning and design interventions impact the wellbeing of vulnerable groups or communities
  • what vulnerable groups’ experiences and perceptions are of transformations in urban environments.

Aim of the project

The aim is to bridge approaches and methodologies from different disciplines (eg. urban planning and design, environmental psychology, and behavioral and social sciences) to build an interdisciplinary capacity to overcome the challenges of creating urban environments that support health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups.

Wellbeing here is intended to have a particular focus on psychological wellbeing, particularly concerning perceived opportunities or challenges for agency (ie. action) and/or belonging (ie. feeling part of the community).


The project team

Principal investigator

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Dr Sina Shahab

Lecturer in Planning and Environmental Policy

Team


Support

This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: