TRUUD stands for ‘Tackling the Root causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development’
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are illnesses that can’t be passed from person to person, such as diabetes, heart disease and poor mental health. Our urban environments can have an impact on our health. For example, links have been found between NCDs and air pollution, availability of green spaces, and nature in our urban spaces. We are working with decision makers and communities to develop ways to prioritise health in urban planning decisions.
The RTPI has supported and engaged with previous research projects relating to health and wellbeing. We believe that the outputs from this interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral work can support our profession to shape urban environments in a manner which delivers improved public health services.
Bristol Medical School have assembled a singularly impressive research team who together span comprehensively the wide range of disciplines required to tackle this complex ‘wicked’ challenge of ill-health prevention through the creation of healthier urban environments. It is encouraging to see experts in public health and systems thinking brought together with those from urban development, corporate governance, law and economics: this broad, interdisciplinary and upstream focus is essential o unlock these messy systemic issues. The unusual and extensive real world and policy-making experience within the research team is equally impressive and particularly encouraging in terms of potential for impact.
The proposed work will address a wide range of non-communicable diseases, which are hugely impacted through the built environment and current planning and policy mechanisms. The novel upstream and systems approach meets UKPRP objectives and will engage relevant industry and policy representatives to effect change through the findings of the study. The proposal addresses an unmet need and I believe has the potential to improve systems of corporate public and private sector governance for transformative prevention nationally.
While research findings to date have created a broad range of evidence base that establishes links between urban environment and health outcomes, this research aims to address a critical and fundamental issue in application of these findings to real urban development projects. I believe that without establishing structural and systematic obstacles for implementation, we will not be able to create a social justice system whereby consideration for health issues are balanced with other social values such as economical and environmental priorities.