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Tackling root causes upstream of unhealthy urban development (TRUUD): protocol of a five-year prevention research consortium

Black, D., Ayres, S., Bondy, K., Brierley, R., Campbell, R., Carhart, N., Coggon, J., Eaton, E., Fichera, E., Gibson, A., Hatleskog, E., Hickman, M., Hicks, B., Hunt, A., Pain, K., Pearce, N., Pilkington, P., Rosenburg, G. and Scally, G. (2022) Tackling root causes upstream of unhealthy urban development (TRUUD): protocol of a five-year prevention research consortium. Wellcome Open Research, 6. 30. ISSN 2398-502X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16382.1


Poor quality urban environments substantially increase non-communicable disease. Responsibility for associated decision-making is dispersed across multiple agents and systems: fast growing urban authorities are the primary gatekeepers of new development and change in the UK, yet the driving forces are remote private sector interests supported by a political economy focused on short-termism and consumption-based growth. Economic valuation of externalities is widely thought to be fundamental, yet evidence on how to integrate it into urban development decision-making is limited, and it forms only a part of the decision-making landscape. Researchers must find new ways of integrating socio-environmental costs at numerous key leverage points across multiple complex systems. This mixed-methods study is made up of six highly integrated work packages. It aims to develop and test a multi-action intervention in two case study urban areas: one on large-scale mixed-use development, the other on major transport. The core intervention is the co-production with key stakeholders through interviews, workshops and ethnography three areas of evidence: economic valuations of changed health outcomes; community-led media on health inequalities; and routes to potential impact mapped through co-production with key decision-makers, advisors and the lay public. We will: map the system of actors and processes involved in each case study; develop, test and refine the combined intervention; evaluate the extent to which policy and practice changes amongst our target users, and the likelihood of impact on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) downstream. The integration of such diverse disciplines and sectors presents multiple practical/operational issues. We are testing new approaches to research, notably with regards practitioner-researcher integration and transdisciplinary research co-leadership. Other critical risks relate to urban development timescales, uncertainties in upstream-downstream causality, and the demonstration of impact.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:96648
Publisher:Wellcome Trust


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