Living in unhealthy places

The lived experience

These short films share experiences of living in UK urban environments that pose a risk to health. We chose the issues covered according to evidence and data from our HAUS model – overcrowding, lack of green space, traffic noise, air pollution, damp and mould.

The films are being used in our changing mindsets and national government interventions for informed discussions with the public sector, industry and other stakeholders.

Watch as four families share where they live and its impact on their health conditions with us and explain the small and large changes that could be made to improve their physical and mental health.

The films were produced by Drummer TV and commissioned by our public engagement team at the University of the West of England.

“I fell asleep in school”

Samuel and his two sons in a 15th floor cramped one-bedroom flat

“I feel stressed in this house”

Kadra and Wendy raising their children and managing their lives in damp homes

“When he moves back home, the cough develops again and it’s grown and grown”

Shakar and his family living with noise and air pollution

The data and evidence

The health data in the films was sourced from our HAUS economic valuation tool and other sources.
Here are some more detailed facts and figures we’ve uncovered for the issues raised in the films:

overcrowded bedroom


Lack of green space / place to play

Damp and mould

road at night with bus stop and queued traffic

Traffic noise

busy road on a wet day

Air quality

  • Air pollution affects people of every age, increasing risk of respiratory disease, cancers, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Air pollution in the UK causes between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year.
  • The value to society of preventing all early deaths related to air pollution in the UK could be £70-90 billion per year.

For more information contact Jo White, Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing at the University of the West of England.