University part major UK non-communicable disease prevention project
Professor Cecilia Wong from the School of Environment, Education and Development’s Manchester Urban Institute is part of a partnership that has been awarded £6.6m by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) to tackle unhealthy urban planning and development linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, obesity, poor mental health, cancer and diabetes. The project aims to deliver real changes that reduce the burden of these diseases on our health and social care systems and enable people to live longer, healthier lives.
The partnership is also led by the University of Bristol, with the Universities of Bath, West of England, Reading and Cardiff and Bristol City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Joining Cecilia in the project is Professor Arpana Verma from the School of Health Sciences.
The project will tackle the root causes of unhealthy urban development by conducting research into urban planning and development systems with a view to embedding the prevention of risk factors associated with NCDs and health inequalities in decision-making on planning early in the decision process.
Cecilia said: “This five year consortia project will offer a wonderful research opportunity for us to reconnect with the origin of town planning – to address public health issues and poor urban living conditions in Victorian times.
“By collaborating with colleagues in the consortium and across disciplines with Professor Arpana Verma at the School of Health Sciences in University of Manchester, we aim to tackle the environmental root-cause of non-communicable diseases to develop a robust evidence-base to inform better planning practice and governance. This project will adopt a co-production model, and we will have researchers embedded with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to ensure that our research is linked to policy practice to engender real impact on our city.”