Developing Healthy Cities through collaborative research in Brazil and the UK

Thursday, 25 February 2016

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Earlier this month, Oxford Brookes revealed four new research projects which have received Newton Funding to support science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of targeted developing countries.

Here we reveal further information on the Brazil-UK Healthy Urban Mobility (HUM) project being led by Dr Tim Jones from Oxford Brookes’ School of Built Environment. 

The focus of the research is on understanding the impact of personal (im)mobility on both individual and community health and wellbeing of different neighbourhoods in Brazil and in the UK.

Dr Tim Jones, Senior Research Fellow

Brazil-UK HUM involves collaboration between Oxford Brookes and three Universities in Brazil - University of Santa Catarina, University of Rio Grande do Sul and University of Brasilia). 

The Economic and Social Research Council grant from the Newton Fund for this project is worth around £330k over three years (Research Grant Ref ES/N01314X/1) with additional funding to partners in Brazil.

Dr Tim Jones, Senior Research Fellow, said: “The focus of the BRAZIL-UK HUM research is on understanding the impact of personal (im)mobility on both individual and community health and wellbeing of different neighbourhoods in Brazil and in the UK. 

“It will also look to develop a participatory approach to support, develop healthy urban mobility and address health inequalities and injustice. 

“The work will focus on three Brazilian cities and one UK city: Brazilia (Federal State), Florianopolis (State of Santa Catarina), Porto Alegre (State of Rio Grande do Sul) and Oxford.

“These are chosen because of their different spatial and demographic characteristics and the challenges they are facing in relation to promoting healthy urban mobility.”  

The investigation will use a mixed method approach comprising five specific field research components. These will be: 

  • spatial mapping to understand the physical and built environment context in which mobility takes place 
  • a social survey to capture mobility and health and wellbeing profiles of selected communities
  • in-depth biographic interviews to understand role of past experiences of mobility and the rationale behind selected modes of mobility - 'mobile trajectories'
  • microethnographies through mobile interviews to capture contemporary everyday experience of being (im)mobile, and;
  • a participatory approach to involve the local community in identifying problems and solutions for healthy urban mobility and community wellbeing.

Further information on research at Oxford Brookes is available at www.brookes.ac.uk/research Find out more on the Newton Fund at www.newtonfund.ac.uk