Events at the Centre for Urban Wellbeing

2023 Events:

Autumn 2023 webinars - hybrid events

Hybrid in Room 226, Murray Learning Centre, University of Birmingham - view map here.
Email Laura Kudrna ( and Nafsika Afentou ( for Zoom joining links.

  • Wednesday 13 Sep - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Ruth Pritchett - University of Birmingham - Expectations and lived experiences of low traffic neighbourhoods in Birmingham  
  • Wednesday 27 Sep - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Paul McCrorie - University of Glasgow - The natural environment and wellbeing
  • Wednesday 11 Oct - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Susanne Borner - University of Birmingham - From climate anxiety to critical hope
  • Thursday 9 Nov - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Pedro Henrique Campello Torres - University of São Paulo - Environment inequalities: The city of São Paulo before and after COVID-19
  • Wednesday 22 Nov - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Ayse Yemiscigil - Fordham University - Fostering Mental Health and Well-Being Among Leaders: Longitudinal Evidence from Leadership Development Interventions
  • Wednesday 6 Dec - 1:00 - 2:00pm - Ahmed Shaalan - University of Birmingham Dubai - When and how does leader humor promote customer-oriented organizational citizenship behaviour? 

Past events

Hybrid seminar on urban health

Tuesday 5 September 2023 

This hybrid GEES/CUWb school seminar was led by Univ.-Prof. Dr Tabea Bork-Hüffer, University of Innsbruck, Austria and Distinguished Visiting Fellow with University of Birmingham IAS-IGI in 2023.

Exploring urban health and wellbeing, affective and embodied methods and digital societies, it it set to be followed by an Early Career Workshop with research presentations by Jacqueline Kowalski, Johannes Melchert and Jan Misera, Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck Transient Spaces and Societies Research Group and Jessy Williams, Fiona Clarke, Dr Grace Tidmarsh, Dr Hannah Absalom from University of Birmingham.

Imagining Wellbeing Workshop

Wednesday 12th July 2023 

How do we envision the experience of wellbeing and factors that influence it? How has wellbeing been conceptualized over time? And what can historical, political, legal and creative narratives tell us about the private and communal sustainability of wellbeing? This summer’s Imagining Wellbeing Workshop, co-hosted by the Centre for Urban Wellbeing and Centre for Digital Cultures, will bring together researchers from across the Humanities and Social Sciences to tackle these questions in collaborative and interdisciplinary ways. We’ll explore how we might articulate wellbeing in terms of representation, potential, and creative reimagining. Topics may include:

  • Lived realities and imagined possibilities of wellbeing in the past, present and future.
  • Approaches to self-care, happiness, flourishing, comfort and rejuvenation.
  • Relationships between digital and embodied contexts/communications.
  • Creative responses to personal, political and economic challenges, especially in urban environments.
  • Inclusivity, activism and marginalised experiences of wellbeing.
  • Precarity, mental health, unequal support systems and vulnerable institutions of care.
  • Representations of industry, labour and working conditions.
  • Green, urban and online spaces and the experience of environmental change.

The workshop took place as a hybrid event in person and via zoom with a mix of short position papers and group discussion, and opportunities to reflect on recent research in this area and plans for the future.

If you are interested in joining future events, please get in touch with Dr Dorothy Butchard.

Birmingham Settlement Neighbourhood Futures Festival

Edgbaston Reservoir Nature & Wellbeing Centre

Mon 26 Jun - Sat 1 Jul 2023

The Centre for Urban Wellbeing supported Birmingham Settlement’s launch of the exciting 'Edgbaston Reservoir Nature and Wellbeing Centre'. The Festival offered a week of fun and thought provoking activities and talks focused on going green in your neighbourhood, connecting with nature and maximising wellbeing and happiness. Talks included academics and staff from University of Birmingham including Koen Bartels, Jessica Pykett, Gerald Jordan, John Munro, Charles Goode, Charlotte Saunders, Hannah Absalom, and Francis Pope.

2022 events

The Imagining Wellbeing Symposium, 'Writing the Good City' 

Edgbaston Park Hotel

Wed 7 December 2022  

This symposium aimed to create an interdisciplinary dialogue exploring how the humanities, literary imaginations and historical representations can inform understandings of the diverse character of urban experience, individual and collective responses to the phenomena of ‘urban stress’ and ways of psychological coping, restoration and repair. It is collaboratively organised by the Centre for Urban Wellbeing, Mental Health Humanities Network and Department of English Literature. Speakers include Professor Anna Snaith (; Professor Des Fitzgerald | Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology | University of Exeter;  Natassia Brenman | Goldsmiths, University of London; Dr Edmund Ramsden - School of History (; Professor Ash Amin, Department of Geography, Cambridge.

Discussion group session on 'Wellbeing and Communities'  

  • Tuesday 6 December 2022
    "How could we strengthen connections between wellbeing policy, research and communities?"
    Robin Miller (Department of Social Work and Social Care)
  • Monday 14 November 2022
    "In what ways can participatory approaches help to better understand and improve urban wellbeing?"
    Susanne Boerner (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences)

ESRC Festival of Social Science

MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) Birmingham

Sunday 13 November 2022

A creative community mapping activity on the meaning of community wellbeing run by Dr Rebecca Johnson. 

Using the Thriving Places Index in Research

 (University of Birmingham staff and students only)

Wednesday 9 November 2022

The Thriving Places Index is a world leading measure of how local economies deliver a wellbeing generating economy. It is published annually by the Centre for Thriving Places (CTP), for all Local Authorities in England and Wales. UoB’s Centre for Urban Wellbeing  partnered with CTP to co-produce and publish the TPI results for 2022. We are interested to hear from UoB colleagues any ideas YOU have for research and analysis using the TPI dataset, in partnership with CTP in support of our shared goals.

Thriving Places Index 2022 Webinar

 (open to all)

Thursday 3 November 2022   

The Thriving Places Index (TPI) is a compass to guide local economies towards an equitable and sustainable future. It is a globally respected framework to support local leaders in every sector to design and deliver policy and action to grow the wellbeing of people and planet. The TPI’s creators, partners and delivery team delivered an online Webinar to explain its role in transforming our economy place-by-place and gain insights into what the latest data can reveal about real progress across the UK. 

Rethinking Empty Homes and Allocations in Social Housing

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Centre for Urban Wellbeing Researcher Hannah Absalom launched a new Rethinking Homes Network to transform the social housing allocation process in light of her research on trauma, mental wellbeing and emotional geographies of the home. 

Making Birmingham an Age-Friendly City

Stuart Hall Room, The Exchange, 3 Centenary Square, Birmingham

Tuesday 13 September 2022 

You are invited to share your expertise and insight in an event focusing on making Birmingham more age-friendly. After the completion of a citizen science project aiming to promote healthy ageing, we now want to identify actionable solutions to making Birmingham an age-friendly city. Contribution from Sustrans - Age-Friendly Tyburn Project. 


For details of how to join the seminars, sign up to our newsletter or email Dr Laura Kudrna,


Wed 30 Nov - 4pm - Laura Kudrna - Money does not always buy happiness but are richer people less happy in their daily lives? It depends on how you analyse income (hosted by International Society for Quality of Life Research)

Wed 19 Oct – 2pm – Suvi-Jonna Martikainen - Narratives and wellbeing: perspectives from literature, psychology, and organisations

Wed 14 Sep –  3pm – Felix Cheung – Government expenditure and wellbeing  

Thur 28 Jul – 2pm – Will Wright, Sustrans, UK – Reactions to low traffic neighbourhoods 

Wed 13 Jul  – 1pm – Mark Fabian, University of Cambridge, Australia - Wellbeing public policy needs more theory  

Tue 7 Jun  –  10am – Chris Bouch, University of Birmingham, UK – Creating business models for urban green infrastructure 


Wed 8 Dec – 1pm – Philip Kinghorn – Informing resource allocation decisions in social care: attempts to broaden consideration beyond cost to include aspects of wellbeing

Wed 1 Dec – 1pm – Daniel Wheatley – Wellbeing, remote working and employee-led flexibility: informing the post-Covid-19 era

Wed 24 Nov – 1pm – Miguel Ribeiro Da Silva Taborda Ramos  – The impact of social diversity on wellbeing and health

Wed 17 Nov – 1pm – Jessica Woodhams, Dr Fazeelat Duran – Impact of traumatic material on the back-office staff’s mental health and wellbeing in criminal justice setting

Wed 10 Nov – 1pm – Oyinlola Ayebode – Better understanding of mental wellbeing in educational communities in Tanzania

Wed 3 Nov – 1pm – Marica Cassarino – Putting wellbeing in place? Considerations about place-based happiness and equity from a psychosocial perspective

Wed 27 Oct –  1pm – Luke Munford – Mental health and wellbeing ‘poverty’ in England: concepts and the unequal spread

Wed 13 Oct – 4pm – Carol Graham – When twin public health crises meet: differential trends in resilience, wellbeing, and deaths of despair during the Covid pandemic