The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health (UD/MH) is the only think tank dedicated to answering one question: how can we design better mental health into our cities?
To help inform, motivate and empower policymakers, designers, planners, and public health professionals to build better mental health into their cities through smarter urban design.
To be a central repository and global go-to resource and platform for policymakers, architects, transport planners, urban planners, developers, designers, engineers, geographers, and others who want to design better mental health into cities, and drive integration of mental health into urban design as standard.
UD/MH brings together useful research, ideas, experiences and intelligence from across the world and shares it on our platforms to increase its reach and make it more accessible to academics and diverse citymakers. We also publish external op-eds and participate in conferences and other events to share knowledge and inspire new audiences into action.
There is still much we need to learn about how urban design can improve mental health. UD/MH encourages research and sharing of ideas and experience by providing global platforms for publication - the Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, and our Sanity and Urbanity blog. We also encourage investment in research focused on this field.
Increase cross-sector communication
We speak at diverse events and convene cross-sector dialogues in cities around the world, bringing together experts from architecture, urban planning, transport, geography, public health, psychiatry, and many more to identify opportunities and discuss potential collaborations.
Empower practical action
UD/MH works closely with those involved in policymaking and on-the-ground citymaking to understand the barriers to integrating better mental health into urban design, and tries to help address these barriers by inputting to consultations, producing practical, evidence-based advice, and linking policymakers with consultants to develop city-specific approaches.
Our wish list
We hope to mobilize resources so that we can invest in initiatives including:
Grand Challenges in Urban Design for Mental Health
UD/MH would like to lead a study that consults global multidisciplinary experts to identify gaps in urban design for mental health knowledge to inform researchers and funders. If you would like to help fund this work, please email us.
Scholarships for researchers to present their work at conferences
UD/MH was saddened to hear that mental health was not addressed at a major urban health conference because the researchers could not afford to attend to present their work. We would like to work with a funder to offer small scholarships that will (a) incentivise research on this topic, (b) increase discussion of this research at conferences, and (c) better integrate the experiences of those in low and middle income countries into discussions. If you would like to sponsor a travel scholarship, please email us.
More city dialogues
Our multidisciplinary dialogues have been exciting and inspiring. We would like to open the conversation in other cities by hosting more of these events, and sharing them online to produce a repository of ideas, research and experience that can be shared between cities. If you would like to sponsor an event, please email us.
Speaking at conferences and other events
The message that urban design can improve mental health is still unusual, and often does not feature in public health, architecture or urban planning dialogues. UD/MH values the opportunity to present at these events to reach new audiences with this knowledge, and help people think about innovation and new approaches to mental health promotion. If you can contribute to our travel fund, please email us.
ACTIONS FOR YOU
If you have another great idea of how UD/MH can be helpful, please let us know.
If you are a funder interested in these opportunities, please email us.