Salim Vohra
Posted on September 16th, 2011


Really cool way of meausirng the sustainability of a neighbourhood at one point in time and over time. It has been developed by the Sustainability Research Institute, University of East London, England, and is based on the LEED ND standard developed by the US Green Building Council.

"The questionnaire is based on 13 topics and people in the area are asked to rate them:

Firstly according to how well provided they think these things are at the moment;

Secondly according to how important they think they are

Anyone who lives in, works in, or uses the area can answer the questionnaire and it takes about 10 minutes. It can be delivered via paper copies, or via an online survey. We tested out a lot of different methods and techniques, all covered in the testing report.

The red line on the profile is the 'trend line': in an ideal situation this should slope from top-left (most important issues being most well provided) to bottom-right (least important, least well provided).

The blue line is the profile itself: it shows how far each issue is from the overall trend, so particular issues can be highlighted.

The bars show how much consensus there is about each issue; so if the blue and grey bars are similar heights, then there was no agreement on that issue, whereas if they are different heights there was more agreement. "

Check out the website by clicking here or copy http://www.neighbourhoodprofile.org/

Hat tip Marcus Grant via Linkedin

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

"...scientific papers are all about contributing to an ongoing debate as to how we must interpret certain observable facts. Thus, a single paper can never reveal the absolute truth and that is why in each paper we carefully discuss its own pros and cons. Hence, the nature of science is debate and uncertainty about general situations, whereas the nature of a legal process is about a decision in a particular case... (Professor A. Burdorf, personal communication)"

See the editorial in the latest issue of Ann Occ Hyg
http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/7/689.full.pdf+html (free access)

Hat tip Trevor Ogden, via Linkedin

Posted on August 19th, 2011

'...at least I know this, that if a man is overworked in any degree he cannot enjoy the sort of health I am speaking of; nor can he if he is continually chained to one dull round of mechanical work, with no hope at the other end of it; nor if he lives in continual sordid anxiety for his livelihood, nor if he is ill housed, nor if he is deprived of all enjoyment of the natural beauty of the world, nor if he has no amusement to quicken the flow of his spirits from time to time: all these things, which touch more or less directly on his bodily condition, are born of the claim I make to live in good health'

William Morris. How we live and how we might live (1884). (in) A. L. Morton, ed. Political Writings of William Morris. Lawrence and Wishart, 1973. Via Alex Scott-Samuel, Health Equity JISC email network.
Click here to know more about William Morris.
Image from Wikipedia.

Posted on August 19th, 2011

If you want to see inside click here to go to the video made by Heriot Watt University about the science park within which the Institute's HQ is based.

Additional Youtube link.

Posted on August 1st, 2011

One of the most important tasks of the 21st century is designing healhy and sustainable communities; ones that work for people and the planet. This is beautifully captured by Jo Allen Gause, Great Planned Communities, Urban Land Institute:

"Many believe there is a new quest for community, for that intangible sense of neighbourhood and belonging that provides the critical framework within which generations can learn and grow, interact and mature, thrive and evolve.

Or perhaps it can be thought of as a return to community, albeit one that is geared to the realities of our present day. Developers, planners and architects are focusing on the physical elements of community design that can enhance livability, facilitate social interaction, and foster a sense of communal satisfaction."