GroundsWell: Community-engaged and data-informed systems transformation of Urban Green and Blue Space for population health – a new initiative

Hunter, Ruth F. and Rodgers, Sarah E. and Hilton, Jeremy and Clarke, Mike and Garcia, Leandro and Ward-Thompson, Catherine and Geary, Rebecca and Green, Mark A. and O'Neil, Ciaran and Longo, Alberto and Lovell, Rebecca and Nurse, Alex and Wheeler, Benedict W. and Clement, Sarah and Porroche-Escudero, Ana and Mitchell, Rich and Barr, Ben and Barry, John and Bell, Sarah and Bryan, Dominic and Buchan, Ian and Butters, Olly and Clemens, Tom and Clewley, Natallie and Corcoran, Rhiannon and Elliott, Lewis and Ellis, Geraint and Guell, Cornelia and Jurek-Loughrey, Anna and Kee, Frank and Maguire, Aideen and Maskell, Simon and Mutargh, Brendan and Smith, Grahame and Taylor, Timothy and Jepson, Ruth and -, GroundsWell Consortiun (2022) GroundsWell: Community-engaged and data-informed systems transformation of Urban Green and Blue Space for population health – a new initiative. Wellcome Open Research, 7: 237. ISSN 2398-502X

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Natural environments, such as parks, woodlands and lakes, have positive impacts on health and wellbeing. Urban Green and Blue Spaces (UGBS), and the activities that take place in them, can significantly influence the health outcomes of all communities, and reduce health inequalities. Improving access and quality of UGBS needs understanding of the range of systems (e.g. planning, transport, environment, community) in which UGBS are located. UGBS offers an ideal exemplar for testing systems innovations as it reflects place-based and whole society processes, with potential to reduce non-communicable disease (NCD) risk and associated social inequalities in health. UGBS can impact multiple behavioural and environmental aetiological pathways. However, the systems which desire, design, develop, and deliver UGBS are fragmented and siloed, with ineffective mechanisms for data generation, knowledge exchange and mobilisation. Further, UGBS need to be co-designed with and by those whose health could benefit most from them, so they are appropriate, accessible, valued and used well. This paper describes a major new prevention research programme and partnership, GroundsWell, which aims to transform UGBS-related systems by improving how we plan, design, evaluate and manage UGBS so that it benefits all communities, especially those who are in poorest health. We use a broad definition of health to include physical, mental, social wellbeing and quality of life. Our objectives are to transform systems so that UGBS are planned, developed, implemented, maintained and evaluated with our communities and data systems to enhance health and reduce inequalities. GroundsWell will use interdisciplinary, problem-solving approaches to accelerate and optimise community collaborations among citizens, users, implementers, policymakers and researchers to impact research, policy, practice and active citizenship. GroundsWell will be shaped and developed in three pioneer cities (Belfast, Edinburgh, Liverpool) and their regional contexts, with embedded translational mechanisms to ensure that outputs and impact have UK-wide and international application.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Wellcome Open Research
?? health inequalitiesenvironmenturban areasgreen spacesblue spacescomplex systemstrandisciplinaryinterdisciplinaryukresearch collaboration ??
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Deposited On:
18 Nov 2022 10:40
Last Modified:
27 Feb 2024 01:48