How might our everyday lived environments best promote health and wellbeing?
Professor Robin Kearns, Environment, Faculty of Science, and Dr Tara Coleman, Anthropology, Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts.
How and where we live influences health and well-being in ways that far exceed the presence of health services. The relative permanence of infrastructure like houses, roads and walkways means sound and healthy decisions can contribute to future-proofing our settlements. A particular focus in our work is asking why some population groups experience more vulnerability than others in accessing amenities. Examples are older renters seeking appropriate housing and children seeking to safely walk to and from school.
Through awareness-raising, teaching and community-based research we contribute to deepening understanding of the determinants of well-being in the contexts of everyday life. As health geographers, we collaborate with colleagues at Massey University, AUT University and the University of Alberta. This work on understanding and promoting healthy environments supports the kaupapa (or guiding principle) of good health and well-being. Team members’ research is funded by the Health Research Council and two National Science Challenges: Building Better Homes, Communities and Cities, and Ageing Well.