Wellbeing

In order to transform our cities to deliver individual and societal wellbeing within the context of low-carbon living and resource security, we must take into account the economic, social, and political contexts and systems in which we operate.

This includes a deep understanding of our aspirations, quality of life and everyday mobilities (such as the movement of objects, people and ideas). Some of these factors may be in conflict with what urban designers and engineers are currently developing to promote a low-carbon, resource-secure lifestyle.

Their success or otherwise is dependent on society’s response and the degrees to which they deliver an acceptable quality of life (within the norms of wellbeing), do not dilute aspirations and do not disrupt the mobilities of people and objects. However, a mere understanding of this context is not enough: for decision-makers to implement ideas it is necessary to translate that understanding into criteria, guidelines, engineering and design briefs. This process of translation is critical to the success of urban design and engineering projects and has been identified as a deficiency in our ability to achieve success in the past, especially in the infrastructure and built environment of our cities.

Therefore, a most urgent challenge for our urban environments is to reconsider how we define cities, neighbourhoods and places, and to embrace an approach that balances conflicting demands.

Research Theme Team

Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper
Co-investigator Lancaster University
Jane Falkingham Jane Falkingham
Co-investigator University of Southampton
Hélène Joffe Hélène Joffe
Co-investigator UCL
John Urry John Urry
Co-investigator Lancaster University
Christopher Boyko Christopher Boyko
Researcher co-investigator Lancaster University
Milena Büchs Milena Büchs
Researcher co-investigator University of Southampton
No picture available Stephen Clune
Researcher Imagination Lancaster
No picture available Mamusu Kamanda
Researcher University of Southampton
Katerina Psarikidou Katerina Psarikidou
Researcher Lancaster University
Nick Smith Nick Smith
Researcher Formerly UCL, now the University of Westminster
Claudia Peñaranda Fuentes Claudia Peñaranda Fuentes
PhD Student Formerly UCL, now with Transport for London
Cosmin Popan Cosmin Popan
PhD Student Lancaster University
No picture available Victoria Zeeb
PhD student UCL
No picture available Claire Coulton
Project Officer (Wellbeing and Future Visions) Lancaster University

Expert Panellists

No picture available Alan Bain
JMPConsultants Limited
No picture available Scott Bernstein
Centre for Neighbourhood Technology
No picture available Harbinder Birdi
Hawkins\Brown
Cary Cooper Cary Cooper
Manchester Business School
No picture available Andrew Dobson
Lancaster City Council
No picture available Jim Eyre
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
No picture available Denny Gray
CAG Consultants
No picture available David Lawson
Lancaster City Council
No picture available Lucia Marquart
Lancashire County Council
No picture available Steve Skippon
Transport Research Laboratory
No picture available Paula White
IBM Software Group
No picture available Anna Woodeson
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
No picture available John Worthington
Academy of Urbanism

The Little Book of Sharing in the City

The Little Book of Sharing in the City

This little book tells you about research that we did as part of the Liveable Cities project, looking at sharing in cities. Through a series of conversations with researchers and workshops with citizens of Lancaster and Birmingham in 2015, we conclude that: ...

The Sharing City Workshop Report

The Sharing City Workshop Report

The report from the two Sharing Cities workshops is finally available and ready to be downloaded. To allow you to explore the scenarios created by participants (rather than creating our own narrative), we decided to include some interactive visualisations. Because most tablets and mobile phones do not support the interactive features...

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced in 2012, has as a key tenet a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Less noted is an aim, embodied in the Ministerial introduction, that planning should be a 'creative process'. The Framework requires that good design should contribute positively to making places...

Sharing is caring, but can it also build resilience?

Sharing is caring, but can it also build resilience?

Dr Christopher Boyko considers whether the urban fabric of cities can encourage us to share more, and in doing so, create a more resilient society…   The blog post may be found here: http://www.arcc-network.org.uk/sharing-is-caring-but-can-it-also-build-resilience/ ...

Measures to Assess Wellbeing in Low-Carbon-Dioxide Cities

Measures to Assess Wellbeing in Low-Carbon-Dioxide Cities

Policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions often focus on the need to change existing behaviours and social practices as well as to provide technological advances in energy supply, waste, transport, industry and infrastructure. While fundamentally important to the mitigation of climate change, little is written about the impact that...

Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Planners, architects, urban designers and other built environment professionals engage with a myriad of checkboxes, guidelines, requirements and specifications, all of which potentially compromise creativity and innovation in urban design. Approaches that measure performance are accused of belying the nature of places as messy, plural, organic, accidental and emotive; trying...

Most frequently downloaded paper: Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Most frequently downloaded paper: Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

We are thrilled that our paper is currently the most frequently downloaded paper from the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning!

If you missed it the first time around, it is free to download and read at the following website address. http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/udap.13.00034

Liveable Cities facilitates important Birmingham workshops

Liveable Cities facilitates important Birmingham workshops

Birmingham City Council creating 'bottom-up' natural captial plan using design methods

The Lancaster team went to Birmingham on 2 November to facilitate two workshops on behalf of Birmingham City Council. The Council is beginning the long process of developing a 25-year natural capital plan for the city, and wanted to involve...

Reed and Mallik Prize for Best Paper

Reed and Mallik Prize for Best Paper

The paper 'Do Sustainability Measures Constrain Urban Design Creativity?' has won the Reed and Mallik Prize for the best paper published in the Proceedings of the ICE: Urban Design and Planning in 2015.

The authors were each presented with a medal at the annual Institution of Civil Engineers awards event, London. The...

John Urry (1946-2016)

John Urry (1946-2016)

John Urry, Liveable Cities Co-Investigator leading the Radical Mobilities Team under the Wellbeing Research Theme, passed away on 18th March.

John’s academic career spanned nearly 5 decades, with early research interests in the sociology of power and revolution. His research delved into many aspects of social theory, but it was his...

Built environment audits begin in Lancaster

Built environment audits begin in Lancaster

Researchers are collecting data on the condition of built environment features within different neighbourhoods

This week, Christopher Boyko and Claire Coulton began auditing the built environment in two neighbourhoods in Lancaster as part of the RC2: Wellbeing Research Challenge. Using the State of Place app (a web 2.0 version of the Irvine-Minnesota...

Seeking applicants for Senior Research Associate position on the Liveable Cities project

Interested in making cities more liveable? Have a background in urban design, architecture or design management? This job might be for you!

ImaginationLancaster seeks to appoint a Senior Research Associate to work on an EPSRC funded Liveable Cities project. The project is an ambitious programme of research to develop a method...