The Built Environment and Wellbeing: An International Symposium Speakers Elizabeth Burton

The Built Environment and Wellbeing:
An International Symposium
17th/18th March 2009
Elizabeth Burton
Professor Burton is founder director of the WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit within the Oxford Institute for
Sustainable Development. Her research investigates the social aspects of sustainable urban form, in particular how the built environment
(architecture and urban design) influences people's wellbeing, quality of life and mental health. She has particular expertise in ageing
research, including dementia-friendly design. WISE recently developed the Neighbourhoods for Life concept, which has been referenced in
the National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society: Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods (DCLG, 2008). Professor Burton has
won close to £4.7 million in research grants, mainly from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
She is partner in an EPSRC Research Consortium, Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors, which is investigating how the outdoor
environment should be designed to optimise older people's wellbeing.
Scott Brown
Scott C. Brown, PhD, is a psychologist and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, at the
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, United States. Dr Brown received his PhD in Psychology at the
University of Toronto, in Toronto, Canada, in 2000, in the area of cognitive aging. He completed his postdoctoral training in the areas of
aging and health at the Institute for Social Research and the Department of Internal Medicine, at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, United States. For the past 5 years, Brown has been at the University of Miami, conducting research in the area of the
neighborhood built environment, behavior, and health. Since 2003, he has been Project Director of a study of the built (physical) environment
in relation to Hispanic elders’ health (funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, United States), as well as an
investigator on two related studies of the built environment in relation to (a) children’s conduct problems and (b) Hispanic immigrants’ risk
for the metabolic syndrome. Brown collaborates with researchers at the University of Miami School of Architecture and School of Medicine
and at other universities in the United States (i.e., Lehigh University, the University of Maine, and the University of Michigan). Brown has a
broad interest in the built environment as a pervasive contextual factor in relation to a variety of health outcomes, including mental health,
physical functioning, obesity, and drug abuse.
Alan Chalmers
Professor of Visualisation in the International Digital Laboratory at the University of Warwick. He has published over 150 papers in journals
and international conferences on realistic computer graphics, multi-modal virtual environments, parallel processing and virtual archaeology.
He is Honorary President of Afrigraph, a former Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH and Co-Chair of the Eurographics Workshop series on
Graphics & Cultural Heritage. In addition, he is a member of the editorial board for the journals ACM Transactions on Applied Perception
and Parallel Computing. His recent work has focused on the real-time synthesis of high-fidelity virtual environments. This research has
incorporated psychophysical experiments to quantify the perception of objects in the real-world and the same objects in the virtual
reconstruction of the real scene. Prof. Chalmers has been working with experts from other disciplines for many years to develop computerbased approaches to capture, store and deliver real world modalities to high-fidelity virtual environments, for example, to enable the
investigation of complex hypotheses concerning, for example the archaeological record, healthcare applications or architectural design, in
safe, non-destructive and controlled environments. Prof. Chalmers is currently the principal investigator on the EPSRC grant EP/D032148
investigating High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery, grant EP/D069874/1 looking at perceptually realistic environments for architectural
planning and was a partner in FP6: IST-014891-2 CROSSMOD investigating the cross-modal perceptual interaction between audio and
visuals. He is also co-investigator with Prof David Howard from the University of York on the EPSRC cluster grant, EP/G001634/1 “...
towards Real Virtuality”.
Nicola Dempsey
Postdoctoral researcher, WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit, Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford
Brookes University. Nicola is currently working on the EPSRC-funded I’DGO (Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors) research project
which examines the potential impact that residential outdoor environments have on older people’s health and wellbeing. She was also project
manager and researcher on the recently completed CityForm research project during which time she completed her PhD on the influence of
the quality of the built environment on social cohesion in English neighbourhoods. Her research interests focus on sustainable urban form,
neighbourhood and community, quality of the built environment, measuring the built environment, and examining how the (design of the)
built environment supports social sustainability, quality of life and wellbeing.
Sandro Galea
Dr Galea is Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Research Professor at the Institute of Social Research, and Director of
the Center for Global Health at the University of Michigan. Dr Galea is primarily interested in the social and economic production of health,
particularly mental health and behavior in a global context. He has an abiding interest in the health consequences of collectively experienced
traumatic events, including disasters and war. Dr Galea has authored or co-authored more than 250 scientific journal articles and 50 chapters
and commentaries. Dr Galea has published 4 books including Macrosocial Determinants of Population Health, Cities and the Health of the
Public, and Methods for Disaster Mental Heath Research. He has received a number of grants for research from the National Institutes of
Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Dr Galea did his graduate
training at the University of Toronto Medical School, at the Harvard University School of Public Health, and at the Columbia University
Mailman School of Public Health. His work has been primarily published in medical and public health journals including the New England
Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, and Epidemiology. Several media outlets
including The New York Times and NBC Dateline among others have featured Dr Galea’s work. He was named one of TIME magazine’s
epidemiology innovators in 2006.
Gillian Hundt
I trained in social anthropology and sociology and my research and teaching is principally in the area of Sociology of Health, Medical
Anthropology and Qualitative Research Methods. I have held posts at several universities where I have worked on the interface of
international public health and social science. I Co-Direct the Institute of Health which conducts health related social science research.
My research is in the area of gender, ethnicity and promoting equity in health. It ranges from the practical such as setting up new service
models like mobile provision for The Bedouin home hospice care, postnatal care at clinics for infants to the theoretical such as ideas of risk,
the social construction of statistics, and the social impact of innovative medical technologies. My research programme is Local Voices and
Action on Global Health Issues and focuses on community perceptions of health. My work addresses global issues of power, discrimination
and inequity in different local contexts. Currently, I am conducting research in England, South Africa and the Middle East. My areas of
interest within these broad themes are lay views of health and illness, the links between policy and practice, health inequalities in relation to
gender, ethnicity, disability and social exclusion, and user involvement.
Lynne Mitchell
Lynne Mitchell is co-founder of the WISE (Wellbeing in Sustainable Environments) research unit at the Oxford Institute for Sustainable
Development, Oxford Brookes University. Her research interests are in social sustainability and how the internal and external built
environment (at all scales from buildings to cities) influences people’s quality of life, health and wellbeing. She has particular expertise in
designing the built environment for older people, with and without dementia.
David Ormandy
Director of Warwick Legal Training which offers CPD and other courses for regulatory bodies. Head of World Health Organization
Collaborating Centre for Housing Standards and Health.
Specialises in the formulation of standards and the relationship between the environment (particularly the housing environment) and health.
Head of the Law School's Safe and Healthy Housing Unit.
Background in public health, having worked in local authorities. Subsequently specialised in housing conditions and practised as an expert
witness in cases dealing with housing conditions. Founder and director of the Public Health Advisory Service (a project funded by Shelter).
Joined the Law School full time in 1996 after working with Roger Burridge on studies on the housing fitness standard.
Responsible to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now the Department for Communities and Local Government) for the project to
develop Version 2 of the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This included the production of Technical Guidance (now
entitled the Operating Guidance), the production of illustrated Worked Examples, and, together with the University's IT Services, the
development of software for hand-held computers and desktop PCs. All the documents, programs etc are published by the ODPM on a CDRom. The work involved is described in a Project Report. Also responsible for the production of a HHSRS Guidance for Landlords.
Member of the World Health Organisation European Task Force on Health and Housing. For WHO ECEH (Bonn) undertook the start-up
work to develop Housing-Health Indicators and was involved in the WHO work on development of Environmental Health Indicators, both
projects for the European Union. Seconded to WHO ECEH (Bonn) for three months in 2006, primarily to review and develop their strategy on
health and housing.
Michael Pacione
Chair of Geography, University of Strathclyde. Michael Pacione was educated at the University of St. Andrew’s and the University of
Dundee receiving an MA Honours degree in Geography in 1970 and his PhD in 1973. In 2002 he was awarded the Higher Doctorate degree of
DSc by the University of Strathclyde in recognition of ‘his original and distinguished contribution to learning in the field of Urban
Geography’. Professor Pacione has held academic positions in Queen’s University, Belfast; the University of Guelph, Ontario; and the
University of Vienna. Currently he occupies the Chair of Geography at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Professor Pacione’s
principal research work is in the field of Urban Geography. An applied or problem-oriented perspective informs much of his research that
focuses on the problems, policy and planning of cities in the contemporary world. He has published twenty-five books and more than 120
research papers in an international range of academic and professional journals. His most recent books include Glasgow: the Socio-Spatial
Development of the City (1995); Britain’s Cities: Geographies of Division in Urban Britain (1997); Applied Geography: Principles and
Practice (1999); and Urban Geography: A Global Perspective (2001, 2005, 2009).
Bart Sheehan
Bart Sheehan is Associate Clinical Professor in Old Age Psychiatry at Warwick Medical School and honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in
Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust. He trained in Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and in Psychiatry at Oxford and the Maudsley
Hospital, London. As a clinician he is responsible for care of older psychiatric patients in the town of Rugby. He has a particular interest in the
effect of environments on outcomes for older people, especially residents of care homes. His current research examines the outcomes for
people with their dementia, and their carers, after general hospital admission, controlled trials of medication for later stage Alzheimer’s
disease, and the effect of physical activity on depression among care home residents. Part of his work has been researching how the physical
environment affects mental health outcomes for older people, especially those with dementia.
Scott Weich
Scott trained at Cambridge University and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, before completing post-graduate training in psychiatry
at the Maudsley Hospital and an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was a Lecturer in
Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (now Royal
Free and University College Medical School) in 1996. He was appointed Foundation Professor of Psychiatry at Warwick Medical School in
June 2003 and works as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. Scott's main research
interests include the socio-economic and contextual determinants of the most common mental disorders, anxiety and depression in general
population settings and the primary care of these conditions. He has experience of epidemiological research, especially cohort studies and
secondary analysis of complex data sets. With colleagues at the Royal Free campus and Imperial College, Scott is a grant holder for the
Medical Research Council Cooperative Grant in Mental Health Services Research. Currently funded projects include an evaluation of the
effects of an urban regeneration programme in north London on the mental health of local residents, a population-based cohort study of socioeconomic and geographical variation in rates of common mental disorders in Britain, and a national study of under-treatment of depression in
primary care. He was a collaborator on the national survey of psychiatric morbidity among ethnic minorities.