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Tackling wellbeing in the built environment through citizen participation and leadership

About this event

‘Bottom up urbanism’ can be described as DIY, “tactical, pop-up, guerrilla or emergent urbanism” (Talen, 2017; Udayasuriyan, 2016). It is often used as an umbrella term to describe an approach to improving the urban environment which is devoid of state or corporate leadership. It is an approach that has emerged through civic action and the creative practice of communities and individuals who, quite simply, want to make better places (Finn, 2014).

“From a broader perspective, it is possible to view DIY urbanism as the latest chapter in a long-standing interest in making cities more humane, authentic, and livable through the actions of individuals and small groups rather than the actions of governments or corporations.” (pg.138; Talen, 2017)

This webinar will explore some of the creative and community driven approaches to creating better places and spaces that promotes wellbeing.

We will be joined by:

  • Matthew Clarke, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space, New York
  • Prof. Rhiannon Corcoran, Professor of Psychology & Public Mental Health, Prosocial Place, UK and University of Liverpool
  • Community Team Member, Midsteeple Quarter, Dumfries

This event is part of a series of webinars being delivered by the Healthy Happy Places programme.  The webinars will be exploring a range of topics which will showcase perspectives from mental health, architecture and urban planning to explore why the built and designed environment matters when thinking about mental health and wellbeing. The design of buildings and the shaping of public spaces in the places we live, work and play contribute to our lived experiences, how we feel, and have the power to promote or stifle wellbeing and recovery.

The Healthy Happy Places programme is funded by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) and the Integrated Care System for the North East and North Cumbria (ICS NENC) to develop a multi-sector approach for supporting and creating mental health and wellbeing through the built environment. Sign up to receive information about the programme.

Who is it for? Anyone with an interest in this topic is welcome to attend. NHS staff, public health, planners and architects, designers, Elected Members and third sector community groups may be particularly interested in hearing about different perspectives concerning the built environment that impact upon mental health and wellbeing.

Why attend? If you are curious about how built environment professionals and health and public health expertise can come together to think about how design and urban planning may influence our mental health and wellbeing.

Join the conversation: #HealthyHappyPlaces

The event will be held on MS Teams. Please check that you can access Teams prior to the event. Joining information will be circulated in the run up to the event.

Watch the December Webinar

Meet the Healthy Happy Places Team:

Timothy Crawshaw MA MRTPI FRSA is the Vice President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, working as an International Planning and Development Consultant in the areas of urban design, planning, green infrastructure, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. With experience in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, alongside an expanding UK practice, he has a specific interest in the role of the nature-based approaches to addressing the climate emergency, alongside improving health and wellbeing outcomes and tackling inequality.

Timothy is an experienced lecturer, trainer and facilitator with a passion for community development, and he continues to champion the role of planning as a key part of the solution to the challenges of our times. Timothy is currently the Chair of the Tees Valley Nature Partnership.

Dr Rachel Turnbull is a Programme Manager for the Academic Health Science Network North east and North Cumbria, who works in healthcare innovation leading regional projects in the North-East of England. Originally qualified as a clinician with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Rachel has developed more than 12 years’ experience in project management and service improvement roles across the North-East and has recently completed a further degree in urban planning and architecture. Her interests lie in the connections between wellbeing and urban design and how to support the creation of healthy, happy, fun places where people and communities can thrive.

Holly Fillingham is a Mental Health Project Coordinator at the ICS NENC. Holly has a research background obtained in Sociology and Criminology, qualified to master’s level, as well as having recently gained a specialist qualification in quantitative and qualitative methods and statistics from the University of Amsterdam. Holly is also pursuing a PhD in social prescribing and is undergoing further education via The Open University. Holly has experience working in primary care, third sector mental health, and is passionate about delivering excellent research projects and implementing their outcomes into the real world.

During the session

We will keep participants muted whilst we are presenting. This avoids distracting our speakers and also reduces sensory stimulation which is important for some people. However, if you wish to ask a question you can do this by adding it in the chat box. Please feel free to turn your camera on and off as you need to. If you need it off the whole time, that is totally fine.

If you need a break at any time during the session then please leave the meeting and re-join again when you feel ready.


Information on accessibility features in Teams can be found here: and you can contact us with any other accessibility questions.

If you’d like more information or would like to chat about the Healthy Happy Places programme we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Rachel

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