Geographical Information Systems and Spatial Analysis
We use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis to model where people live and the environments they experience throughout their lives. We conceptualise, measure and analyse these inter-related components from a human-ecological perspective that adopts environmental design hand-in-hand with a population health approach to health-related policy, planning and practice. This approach emphasises the fundamental importance of understanding the dynamic interaction between individuals, households and neighbourhoods in social, cultural and physical environments which connect geographically defined communities of ‘health and place’.
There is considerable interest in using GIS to develop objective measures to explore the relationships between the built, natural and social environment and how these impact on health and wellbeing. Developing the evidence base for neighbourhood or ‘place-based’ effects, as well as elucidation of the casual mechanisms through which they are mediated, have important and direct implications for public policy and for the reduction of health disparities. The exploration of specific forms of neighbourhood effects will have a high degree of health and urban policy relevance.