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A Vision For Healthy Urban Design: Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) prevention

Leandro Garcia
Dr Leandro Garcia
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Ruth Hunter
Dr Ruth Hunter
School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Woman's face overlaid on a building facade

In partnership with University of Melbourne, researchers from Queen's are combining advanced AI and computer modelling to come up with ways future cities can be designed to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Research Challenge

The goal is to generate evidence and tools to support the urban planning and health sectors to better understand how to design our cities to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as such as cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory conditions, and poor mental health.

It investigates the mechanisms by which the design of our cities may cause NCD and uses new methods in computer vision and AI to explore the relationship between urban design and NCD in cities across the UK and Australia.

Our Approach

In partnership with University of Melbourne and funded by UKRI and NHMRC, this three-year project (2020 to 2023) aims to use new methods in computer vision and artificial intelligence, to explore the relationship between urban design and NCDs in cities across the UK and Australia and investigate how different urban design elements impact on health inequalities within cities. Combined data from different sources shows the mechanisms by which the design of our cities may cause NCDs.

The project combines epidemiological, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and comparative risk assessment methods.

"To better understand how to design our cities to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs)” 

Dr Leandro Garcia

What impact did it make?

By developing a toolkit for action for local citizens, urban designers and planners, public health practitioners, and policy makers, the outcomes will help inform future policies and lead to powerful, actionable changes in UK and Australian cities.

Our Impact

Impact related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Queen’s University’s commitment to nurturing a culture of sustainability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through research and education.

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and well-being
  • UN Goal 03 - Good Health and well-being

Impacting in Countries/Regions

Impacted Regions
Impacted Countries

School/Institute
Centre for Public Health
Sub-themes
  • Epidemiology, diagnostics and therapeutics for disease control