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About Groundswell

The GroundsWell team of researchers, local communities, implementers and policymakers will create a virtuous cycle of research, data, policy, implementation and active citizenship. By working together, we will all better understand and evidence the role of UGBS within wider social, economic, environmental, cultural and health systems. We will identify and implement actions to maximise health benefits from UGBS. Our democratisation of the research and decision-making process will be based on principles of co-design, co-implementation, co-evaluation and co-translation.

GroundsWell has four guiding principles:

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Health and inequalities
Addressing issues including social & environmental
Three arrows made of blue and green forming a cyclical diagram
Creating a virtuous cycle
of research, policy, implementation and active citizens
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Co-implementing, co-evaluating and co-translating
Four interlocking blue and green puzzle pieces
Acknowledging complexity
of urban environment and how communities live in it


 The main research will take place in three cities – Belfast, Edinburgh and Liverpool City Region. These have sufficient similarities (such as large and diverse low-income communities) but also distinct features (such as geography and culture) making them, collectively, an ideal laboratory. Each city already has policies and programmes in place to improve UGBS, but there is much room for improvement. GroundsWell will take a systems approach. This means understanding the multiple and interconnecting components of policy-making, practice, perception and people which together affect the presence, location, character and use of UGBS. It also means working to transform the system so that the components function together. To do this, GroundsWell will mix co-development of new theoretical frameworks, novel data science including simulation, health economics and policy analysis, but at its heart will be community engagement and partnership. We will develop and use meaningful community engagement, co-production and citizen science to understand the system, identify how and where it is broken, and co-create solutions. We anticipate interventions aimed at how the UGBS system operates, and small-scale interventions around actual spaces and their use.

You can find further detail about each work package below.


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