Primary Engagement (WP1)

WP1 aims to map and identify leverage points in urban development decision making landscape via qualitative interviews with "elite actors" / professionals in relevant fields and focus groups / workshops


  • To map and understand the main drivers of urban development and management by engaging with people who are involved in making decisions about urban developments.
  • To test and refine the intervention, which will be co-produced with end users and will incorporate evidence from WPs 1, 2 and 4.


Initially the focus of WP1 will be on understanding and mapping the case study systems.  We will look at the whole system, including: actors, mechanisms, data used, power dynamics, dominant drivers/incentives, priorities, wider influencers, boundaries, dependencies/interdependencies, barriers, ’tipping’ points, regulations.

We will also consider how much: a) the public are already involved in decision making at strategic level, and b) decision-makers understand how their decisions impact on local communities.  We will use the findings from the first phase to develop the intervention through WP3.

In Phases 2 and 3 we will evaluate how much effect the intervention (developed in Phase 1) is having on policy and practice.  We will use this information to refine the intervention further.

To develop this part of the research, we will identify and interview key stakeholders and use observations (via two Researchers-in-Residence, one based in Bristol City Council’s Growth, Investment and Infrastructure Group and the other in Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Research Division).  We will also conduct systems mapping workshops.

We will ensure that we include a focus on corporate governance to include overarching issues relating to prevention of ill-health, e.g. strategic priorities; ownership; distribution of surplus profit; commitment to ‘Environmental, Social, and Governance’ (ESG). We will hold focus groups with industry, membership bodies, NGOs and invited senior practitioners.  We aim to identify what is within the control of decision-makers involved in the study (‘endogenous’) and those factors that are largely exogenous (e.g. technological futures, European/global geo-politics).


The main outputs from WP1 will be from interview and focus group preparation and outputs, including: literature and policy reviews, graphic visualisations, findings reports and analysis; a Public Health Assessment Tool for Corporations (PHAT-Corp) involved in urban development, which will be of use to public and private sectors to align their own organisational structure to long-term health outcomes, and to improve their procurement and partnership strategies; guidance on organisational models and structures that are better aligned with long-term social and environmental health.

Looking for more information?

Find out more about Economic Valuation (WP2).