This talk outlines two trans-disciplinary natural experiments, in two deprived urban areas of Manchester and London (UK).
Both projects involve working with local communities to “measure
what they treasure” and go beyond traditional measures.
The first involved a new £4 million co-designed ‘sponge’ park in a flood-risk area, at the end of a housing-led regeneration programme in central Manchester. The park interventions involve Nature Based Solutions that will help provide resilience to heatwaves and flooding in the future. However the talk focuses on the large changes in wellbeing behaviour, compared to baseline measures and matched comparison area measures, where no interventions were undertaken.
The second larger case is currently at baseline stage. This scheme is an ambitious £7bn mixed-use urban regeneration project in north London. This new Park Town seeks to inspire better ways of living and working, creating 7,000 homes, workspace for 25,000 and a wealth of sports and leisure facilities, all set around 50 acres of green parks. Unlike most international regeneration schemes, success will be assessed, in part, against a flourishing index, consisting largely of important psychological and social experiences.
The Talk outlines mixed-methods, ‘quadruple helix’ approach, involving a wide array of local government, industry, community and academic partners and collaborators. As well as providing a
selection of headline wellbeing findings, we describe some of the trials and tribulations involved in navigating what appears to be largely ‘uncharted territory’ - toward best-practice fusion of wellbeing research, policy and practice at the localised scale.