Research menu

Healthy cities

Living in a city is a reality for more than half the world’s population – with that figure set to rise to 70 per cent by 2050 ( As a microcosm of society, the urban environment is rich in opportunities for research into the unique challenges posed by city living.

Queen Mary’s location in the UK’s largest and most diverse city, means that those opportunities are on our doorstep. Indeed, much of our research is local, and is informed by our commitment to enhancing our community in east London. Projects include: assessing the levels of pollution in Tower Hamlets; studying migration; measuring the impact of urban regeneration; and working with local communities – and our own staff – to secure better working conditions.

Our activity in this area is in line with the World Health Organization’s European ‘Healthy Cities’ movement:

 “The primary goal [...] is to put health high on the social, economic and political agenda of city governments. This is not about the health sector only. It includes health considerations in economic, regeneration and urban development efforts.” (

How can we extend digital inclusion to older people?

Professor Trisha Greenhalgh is looking into how we can make technology work for the elderly  

Can we escape urban pollution?

Professor Jonathan Grigg is looking at ways to minimise our exposure to air pollution in urban environments

Reducing accidental injury in the UK

Professor Allyson Pollock is looking into reducing the high numbers of deaths by accidental injury 

Addressing poverty across London: the case for paying a ‘living wage’

Professor Jane Wills makes a case for the living wage and fairer working conditions, starting at Queen Mary

How to measure the effects of physical activity on mental health?

Professor Kam Bhui explores the links between physical activity, wellbeing and mental health 

Does noise leave a lasting impression on children’s minds?

Professor Stephen Stansfeld and Dr Charlotte Clark explore the impact of noise on child development 

Fighting obesity across England

Professor Steven Cummins is leading an evaluation of the Government's Healthy Towns initiative

Return to top