Policy

Healthy environments, diverse perspectives

These reports describe findings from an innovative online public dialogue that gathered insights into public views on healthy environment research.

From:
UKRI, NERC
Published:

Documents

Healthy environments, diverse perspectives full report (PDF)

, 21 MB

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Healthy environments, diverse perspectives summary report (PDF)

, 1 MB

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Details

From November 2020 to June 2021, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded film production company, Beard Askew and the Helix Centre (part of the Institute of Global Health Innovation) to deliver an innovative public engagement exercise to gather detailed insight into people views about healthy environments.

Due to the pandemic, it had to be solely delivered online. Access and creativity were core components of the project which in practice meant bringing different environments to life through an immersive online workshop experience.

100 community participants took part from across the UK including under-represented groups, whose voices often go unheard in research decision-making.

Summary of key insights:

  • people’s perceptions of healthy environments were linked to their unique context and past experiences. Attributes of healthy environments conflicted in some cases, such as safety from crowds of people versus quietness and natural sounds
  • to participants an important effect of healthy environments was the promotion of mental wellbeing
  • participants wanted to see more research on how accessibility of environments can be more equitable, particularly for those with physical access needs
  • there was a desire to prioritise long-term research that considers sustainability and social equity
  • a further priority was preventing root-causes of problems like improving air quality in cities to avoid lung disease, rather than simply treating the effects
  • participants stressed the importance of community for a healthy environment and or positive environmental change. They wanted to see research and empowers communities with knowledge and encourages behaviour change.

The project is one way NERC and UKRI is looking to involve underrepresented groups in discussions about the research it funds. NERC will use the insights from this project to inform decisions about research topics it will support in the future.

For more information about this project please contact theo.bass@ukri.org or hannah.king@nerc.ukri.org.

Page last updated: 8 November 2021

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