Project Background

With over 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, the urban development decisions we make today will affect the health of this future generation.

Our research project is interviewing urban decision makers about their priorities for change; Shape Our City is consulting you, the public, on yours.

This website is just one of a number of creative activities planned by Our City Our Health, a Wellcome Trust funded UWE project. If you are interested in taking part, follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook

Thanks to Andy Council for the illustration, SOTO for the design and programming, UPSTREAM for the science and you for your participation.

How did we work it out?

To produce the figures you see in Shape Our City economists looked at the latest research to first forecast what health impacts might occur in an average year amongst a standard group of 1,000 people. These figures were then multiplied to work out impacts at the scale of a neighbourhood (of roughly 10,000 people), city (c. 500,000 people) and over a time scale of 25 years – the average investment period of a city developer.

The net cost or savings to society from these impacts was then calculated. These figures include the cost or savings to medical care, social care and lost earnings – for employer and employee, as well as people’s ‘willingness to pay’ to avoid the risk of premature death and the pain and suffering associated with a disease. By including all these factors, the figures provide a more complete picture of health.

Implementation costs were worked out by collecting evidence from reported cases of successful real-world interventions at the neighbourhood and citywide scale, also using the same 25-year timescale. And the budget was based on total project costs, including public funding, grant funding and private funding. However, only green space costs include the cost of land acquisition.

These research findings have emerged from a national transdisciplinary research project called UPSTREAM. You can find out more about this project here.

If you’re interested in getting involved in Our City Our Health activities throughout the year, follow us on social media