Connectivity – joining-up approaches to Health and Wellbeing across design and health disciplines

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December 1, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies, Geography

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the social distancing and ‘lockdown’ measures that have been implemented in response, have refocused the attention of many on the importance of connections to human health. This includes not only the social connections which have been shown to prevent mental health problems (Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2010) but also connections to nature which have been shown to result in decreased physical discomfort (Lohr & Pearson-Mims, 2000) and improved mood (Shibata & Suzuki, 2004), and material connection and sensory stimulation from our environment (Heerwagen, 2012).

Furthermore, the levels of disruption we have experienced to the economy, to education, and to social and cultural activities, have demonstrated how human health and wellbeing is implicitly intertwined with many other aspects of our lives, and should not be treated as an isolated issue. In the goal to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases, the built environment shares common origins with public health, that can be traced back centuries (Hu and Roberts, 2020).

The important role that architecture can play in facilitating social connections, connections with nature, and relationships with the environment though sensory stimulation and variation are well established (Heerwagen, 2012). Meanwhile, at an urban scale street network connectivity is associated with pedestrian movement and active commuting (Ozbil et al., 2011; Ozbil et al., 2020). Most recently, connectivity in the built environment has taken a digital turn, with the emergence of smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) promising to render our built environment ever more efficient, sustainable, and responsive (Hamed S. Alavi et al. 2019).

This theme invites papers examining the theme of connectivity across healthcare and the built environment. Papers may include, but are not limited to, studies of the health and wellbeing implications associated with:

  • networks to facilitate active transport;
  • human-building interactions;
  • designing to facilitate social connections/connections with nature; 
  • connections with other priority agendas in the built environment



Place: Virtual (Northumbria University, UK)

Dates: 01-03 December, 2021

Abstracts: 25 October, 2021

Formats: Various - Zoom, pre-recorded, lightning talks, written papers

Contact Info: 

Tara Hipwood / Cindee Hogan

Contact Email: