The ultimate goal was to implement new approaches to planning and health as advocated by Rydin et al. (2012). These are: encourage city government to understand and work with a wide range of stakeholders; attend to health inequalities within urban areas, particularly in relation to the built environment and mobility and how this affects health and wellbeing; provide action at an urban scale; use novel research methods to experiment, assess and actively involve communities in active dialogue and mutual learning.
We sought to achieve this by engaging local residents in the research process and enhancing their ability to impact decisions on their neighbourhoods. This was not only be in relation to mobility, but also other spheres associated with urban development and social/health policies. This aimed to help public organisations at the city, state and central government level to implement more effective and equitable mobility policies to enhance health and wellbeing. Ultimately this will help contribute to greater equity among different socio-economic groups and neighbourhoods through reduced morbidity, injuries and enhanced general wellbeing.
Although the specific geographical focus was communities in Brazil and the UK, the research is of much wider significance. It has the potential to contribute to the subject area more widely and provide transferable policy and methodological lessons between the Global South and Global North.
Reference: Rydin, Y. et al. (2012) Shaping cities for health: complexity and the planning of urban environments in the 21st century. The Lancet, May 30, 2012.