Centre for Urban Wellbeing

The Centre for Urban Wellbeing brings together academics from across the University of Birmingham to tackle global challenges to community health and wellbeing.

More than half the world’s population now live in urban areas, according to UN estimates this is set to grow to two-thirds by 2050. Urban-led change needs to be grounded in understandings of interventions within complex systems. How do we advance a research agenda that addresses the challenges of urban wellbeing and community health? 

  • Which new research questions need developing and asking?
  • What frameworks and concepts can facilitate more systems thinking in urban wellbeing?
  • How can new measures be developed to effectively evaluate systemic outcomes?
  • Which academic disciplines might, working together, bring new and novel research insights?
  • How can academics work collaboratively with policy makers and service providers to co-produce research which is both applicable and impactful on the ground?

The Centre for Urban Wellbeing draws together research across many areas, including physical, social and mental wellbeing, ageing, behaviour change, political and cultural economic theory, environmental and health sciences, digital technologies, historical and literary investigations on embodiment, compassion and care, and urban planning and infrastructures. This multi-disciplinary research provides new insight into the ways in which we live in and interact with our urban environment, and will help ensure that local solutions can be shaped by the best-informed global research and evidence.

Thorough and effective ideas are needed to make urban environments more inclusive, safe, resilient, active and sustainable, to reduce inequalities and to promote good health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to highlight existing inequalities and the need to rethink how urban living can be re-designed to better protect and promote the health and wellbeing of its communities.

Professor Jennifer Cumming

Professor Jennifer Cumming

Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Meet our researchers

Discover more

  • Institute for Mental Health

    Our researchers are working with NHS partners to understand the causes of poor mental health and develop effective treatments and services.

  • Human Geography Research Group

    The Human Geography Research Group carries out theoretically and empirically informed research aimed at understanding how social practices and relations are conditioned by space and place.