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Theme 1: Places

Our topic is ‘connecting health, wellbeing and sustainability’ and in the first term of the academic year, we talked about places.

In October, we focused on internal environments and where we live and work. In November and December, we turned to the natural environment and the role of policy, recognising the social, economic and environmental conditions that influence the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities to explore how they affect the way we view and live in cities of the future.

A panel of three witnesses joined us each month and to provide their perspective on gaps and future research questions, followed by an open question and answer session. 

Living and working

On the 18th October, an architect with a passion for technology joined an economist who is interested in metrics of happiness and an advisor on health and environment interactions for the EC Joint Research Centre to help us to generate research questions related to where we live and work.

Space for people and nature

On the 15th November, we will turn to outside spaces in cities. A landscape architect will be joined by a researcher who is interested in the relationship between biodiversity and wellbeing and an urbanist who writes about cities, landscapes and nature to help us to explore the way in which these spaces can be designed to benefit people's health, bring communities together and have a positive effect on the environment.

Catalyzing change

At our final meeting of the term on the 13th December, the CEO of Friends of the Earth joined the founder of the landscape architectural practice at Arup and the leader of the National Trust's national work on urban green spaces to explore the role that policy and communities could play in shaping cities in ways that benefit people and the environment. 

For more information about these meetings, please follow the links on the right or e-mail Dr Rosamunde Almond (

This report highlights the 'wicked problems' and key future research questions we generated during the three meetings on health, wellbeing and sustainability in the places where we live and work.

Download the report