Using data to compare the health impact of mobility infrastructure in cities (just what the doctor ordered)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng


This research looks to exploring the appropriate model and methodology for a scenario appraisal tool which will utilize data to assess mobility infrastructure designs in relation to health benefits in developed countries. This will be achieved by testing the emerging model and methodology on several case study sites in different countries. There are three stages:
1. Benchmarking / 'check up'
Existing site area / mobility infrastructure will be assessed according to BRE's emerging Healthy Cities Index indicators and compared to current performance across the city and in other similar cities worldwide
2. Opportunities and constraints assessment / 'diagnostics'
Options for alternative mobility infrastructure and potential constraints are identified and compared with local priorities and easy-wins. -
3. Design testing / 'prognosis'
New design proposals can be tested against the base case (i.e. existing site area) and assessed using the same defined indicators / measures for health and other benefits.
We propose the following methodology and research stages (see excel spreadsheet):
1. General overview / trends on mobility infrastructure and health
2. Definition of key relationships between health benefits and mobility infrastructure with reference to co-benefits across other social, economic and environmental considerations.
3. Selection of existing best practice studies with regards to mobility infrastructure and the benefits identified in the previous phase.
4. Identify measures and indicators for enabling the scenario's benchmarking purposes and identification of opportunities / constraints.
5. Analysis / review of existing tools / methodology - this includes identifying existing tools / methodologies, gaps / opportunities and the market.
6. Analysis / review of data - this includes existing data, data gaps and data requirements and quality.
7. Development of the methodology to enable the scenario tool development at the three stages of benchmarking (check-up), identifying opportunities / constraints (diagnosis) and testing scenarios (surgery).
8. Testing the methodology using existing and available software and tools on one or two project test case studies - 'proof of concept'.
9. Research / Technical reporting
10. Communicating research: development of marketing material and dissemination internally and externally

Planned Impact

A better model for predicting the health benefits of infrastructure and urban design, which will be marketed by Arup and BRE.

The research reports and communications deliverables (poster pull out) will be made available on the relevant internal skills networks / interest groups and include presentations on the methodology and findings.
The research will be externally communicated through the thought leadership piece written by Arup / BRE and potentially be presented at the 2016 WHO International Healthy Cities Conference. Other activities may include a short video showcasing the research results to be disseminated via social media.


10 25 50
Description Importance of care in design to generate ongoing health benefits
Exploitation Route Adoption by local authorties
Sectors Construction,Environment,Healthcare,Other

Description This is very early to establish as the project only ran late in 2016. However, there has been representation at BRE and Arup of this work and it is being adopted in these organisations as a point of reference in urban design.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Construction,Environment,Healthcare,Transport
Impact Types Policy & public services

Description Grant
Amount £131,150 (GBP)
Organisation Action Medical Research 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 12/2014
Description PEARL in the community 
Organisation London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We provide the expertise on accessibility and scientific measurement of capabilities for urban design
Collaborator Contribution They provide contacts and involvement in a steering group, site for demonstrations and further research
Impact This is still underway. At the moment this has moved into site identification for a future engagement activity, relationship-building with New York City, Greater Manchester and others
Start Year 2017
Description Renewable energy and transport design in Xi'an 
Organisation Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provide the modelling for estimation of impacts of modal shift
Collaborator Contribution They provide the renewable energy data related to domestic and industrial buildings
Impact None yet
Start Year 2017
Description Barking Riverside Healthy New Town 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A series of public engagement events to show how walking could be made easier for older people and others by changing the footway surfaces
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description Talk in Chile 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Distinguished inaugural lecture for the new MSC in city planning in the School of Architecture and Urbanism, Ponitificia Universidad Catolica Chile
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017