Cities have always brought both benefits and threats for human health. In an increasingly urbanised world, the challenge is now how to manage our cities so that they foster sustainable wellbeing for their inhabitants and the planet.

SUPHI (Social Science and Urban Public Health Institute) is a collaboration from across and beyond King’s College London. We aim to bring insights from social theory to bear on urgent questions in public health and to develop inter-disciplinary methods for responding to these.

A shared aim is to develop pragmatic, empirically mindful approaches to problems that are emerging in the everyday conduct of public health. Innovative theory and methods are needed to address ‘real world’ public health challenges. Rather than grand solutions or technical fixes, we will foster new ways of approaching these by bringing together ‘theory’ and ‘practice’.

Our over-arching research questions include:

  • How do different urban forms shape health? How does the city ‘get under the skin’ of those who live in it?
  • How does city governance foster (or not) citizenship and participation?
  • What are the roles of digital and other technologies in configuring urban health?
  • How are local neighbourhoods experienced in a globalised world?