Name: Ke Zhou
Based at: University College London
Supervisors: Nici Zimmermann (University College London), Michael Davies, Marcella Ucci (University College London), Paul Wilkinson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Petra Meier (University of Sheffield), Susan Michie (University College London) and Elanor Warwick (University College London).
Project title: Applications of whole-systems approaches to place-based decision making leveraging urban housing for population health and sustainable development
Project summary: Housing associations are key actors in providing affordable, liveable and sustainable housing. Their regeneration projects provide unique opportunities for improving health and sustainable outcomes. With goals of delivering homes of good quality, managers and staff make decisions every day on trade-offs and priorities. The complexity and wicked nature of the regeneration projects can render these decisions challenging and result in unintended consequences. However, we know little about how decision-makers in housing associations pay attention to health and sustainability and about how they make decisions. Thus, this research project tries to understand the following questions: how can sustainability and health be considered in the decision-making process of regeneration projects, and how can group model building (GMB), as a system dynamics tool, be used to provide decision support?
The project will integrate meeting observations, interviews, workshops, and system dynamics modelling through case studies in London regeneration projects, with aims to provide a review on how system dynamics and other tools are used for decision support in the field of the urban environment; develop a system dynamics model of decision-making based on the integration of collected data and existing organisational theories; and produce a system-thinking based framework for decision support.
Practice engagement: The project was designed and is executed in close collaboration with practice colleagues. The output of the project includes both academic papers and practical deliverables. Both the model-based decision-making simulator, decision support GMB workshop guideline, and the framework will be translated into practical documents for use.
Public engagement: An essential part of the project is its participatory component. The project aims to engage managers and staff, design architects, consultants, and politicians to get the system picture of decision making through interviews and workshops.
Find out more about Ke’s work.