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Shortlist - Practitioner Research Fund

PRF BIg

James McGowan - WINNER

Marijke Ransom - WINNER

(Winner)

Julian Jackson

(Shortlisted)

Oscar Wong

(Shortlisted)

 

Winner - James McGowan

(Lichfields – London)

Entry title

A Study into the Relationship between the Built Environment and Mental Health in the UK and Potential Policy Outcomes.

Research overview

Good mental health and well-being is of great importance to a healthy and productive society. It is becoming increasingly evident from the literature that there are links between the built environment and mental wellbeing. Changes in perception of the built environment have been linked to changes in levels of depression and anxiety indicating the importance of how inhabitants perceive their own built environment. Studies show that appropriate planning policy may directly impact upon levels of psychological distress more generally. Investigating current planning policy in relation to the factors which affect mental wellbeing could be key in improving mental health outcomes. Therefore this study aims to address the question: This study aims to address the question: ‚’What is the relationship between the built environment and mental health in the UK?’ The study would be cross-disciplinary with input from both the fields of Planning and Psychology hence the involvement of a secondary author. Quantitative data would be gathered in the form of a survey in which participants are asked questions regarding depressive symptoms and the form of their local environment. The quality of the built environment will be defined by NHS Healthy Urban Development Unit and depressive symptoms will be assessed via 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Logistic regression will be used to assess the association between categories of quality and presence of depression adjusted for confounders. The results would inform a discussion of potential planning policy to further include mental health considerations.

Motivation

"The judges recognised the original and innovative approach to an issue of current concern and relevance to spatial planning"

 

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Winner - Marijke Ransom

(Tasman District Council - New Zealand)

Entry title

Developing an ecosystem services or natural capital valuation and derived planning tool for the NZ context.

Research overview

The extensive body of knowledge and communities of practice that support the application of ecosystem services and natural capital approaches in spatial planning and management has predominantly been limited to Europe the US and China. Acknowledging the decline in key environmental indicators the NZ Treasury intends that information on and analysis of the value of natural capital in our society will become more comprehensive. Valuation methods and planning tools developed primarily through European based programmes have been informed and tested by experts from different disciplines. The potential of these tools for improving better outcomes from land use decision making is promising although it is unclear how they may be affected by data availability or how well they will stand up to scrutiny in a NZ bi cultural context. The aim and objectives of this research is to scope the demand and opportunity for developing an ecosystem services or natural capital valuation and derived planning tool for the NZ context that: a. provides planning practitioners and relevant stakeholders with a robust method of systematically assessing and informing new development and asset management proposals; and b. ensures that new development and asset management delivers net environmental gains and improves community wellbeing and resilience to the effects of climate change. Following a review of available datasets and discussion with key stakeholders and experts a suitable tool will be selected and applied in NZ. A project plan for developing a bespoke ecosystem services tool that is fit for purpose for the NZ context will be developed.

Motivation

"The judges recognise that the research show a good understanding of an issue that is relevant to current planning and research, and its findings are likely to have a significant impact for planning policy and practice"

 

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Shortlisted - Julian Jackson

(Independent consultant)

Entry title

Why do some Neighbourhood Plan Groups take a long time to prepare their Neighbourhood Plans or fail to complete the task?

Research overview

The reasons why some Groups preparing Neighbourhood Plans struggle to progress or complete the task is a real live issue about which there has been little research. Almost a quarter of Neighbourhood Plans designated in 2015 or earlier in the North West of England had not moved on to the next statutory stage of preparation by the end of 2018. On-going research collected by Planning Aid England volunteers provides a firm statistical foundation for revealing this situation and demonstrates that the North West is a good model for understanding Neighbourhood Plan activity in the country as a whole. However that survey does not identify the reasons why a proportion of Groups struggle and some fail. These reasons are likely to be multi-faceted complex and in some instances contentious requiring a very carefully conducted approach to accurately reveal. I have built-up an extensive range of contacts with key players in the region that will enable me to undertake this sensitive research. Furthermore there is a high likelihood of being able to offer constructive outcomes from the research conclusions that could help remedy the problems being faced by many Groups.

Motivation

"The judges praise the deep understanding of the proposed research topic"

 

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Shortlisted - Oscar Wong

(UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative)

Entry title

Strategic Legacy Planning for Mega-events to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals: Critical Lessons Learnt from London Olympics 2012 and Rio 2016 for Tokyo 2020.

Research overview

Mega-events are urban developments that shape the current urban context (Arthur 1994). Olympics is a good example of mega-event that does not only attract short-term tourism and media exposure but also leave urban development opportunities for the local citizens in a long-term regeneration legacy (Kassens-Noor et al 2015). The International Olympics Commission (IOC 2001) emphasises that legacy has become a crucial element within the bidding process. Event-promoters of the host cities have highlighted the benefits and functions of Olympics as a catalyst to other urban projects to expedite the wider urban regeneration process (Tseng 2012). In 2015 UN General Assembly set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals to for the year of 2030. Specifically the SDG 11 promotes sustainable cities and communities to enhance ‘inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and capacity for participatory integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management’. In the context of post-Olympics urban development the vision of SDG 11 in parallel of the greater emphasis on legacy planning of Olympics are directly applicable to the future urban developments in future host cities (Tokyo Paris and Los Angles). This research will examine lessons in advancing SDG 11 learnt from the legacy planning of London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics. It will then apply lessons learnt from previous cases to inform some tangible recommendations for Tokyo Olympics 2020. By combining lessons from previous Olympics cases and the SDG the findings will hopefully provide a sustainable development framework in the context of Tokyo 2020 as way of implementing and localising the visionary SDG 11.

Motivation

"The judges recognised that the proposal is built on a thorough understanding of the argument and proposes an innovative approach to the issue"

 

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