Welcome to (Un)Urban: Investigating green spaces in East London

Ana Bleahu, HWFI

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. As the number of city dwellers continues to rise, concerns around urban wellbeing of citizens have sharpened.

Urban wellbeing presents itself as a grand challenge because it is multifaceted. Among the diverse lines of enquiry around urban wellbeing, researchers are noticing connections between access to green space and urban wellbeing. As urban populations – particularly in London – become increasingly divided by health inequalities (as well as by wealth inequalities), the challenge to future leaders is: how can we ensure the wellbeing of urban populations, regardless of income, ethnicity, gender and age?

Wetlands, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20.

(Un)Urban is a two-week programme coordinated by UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) that responds to this grand challenge. Focusing on Queen Elizabeth Park as a space of opportunity and concern for diverse East London communities, students will explore the intersection between wellbeing and green urban space. Students’ core mission will be to seek creative solutions to a challenge set by a local organisation. Each challenge, while unique, will be a real-world issue that the organisation faces.

This programme aims to equip students with the theories and skills required to innovate for local organisations, local people and the environment of East London. They will be learning Human-Centred Design from international innovation agency Mensch and immerse themselves in an East London location for half of the programme.

Students can register with this link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/global-citizenship/programme
Image credit: TOP Ana Bleahu, Hackney Wick; BOTTOM Peter O’Connor



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