Translating Evidence into Practice

  • Marcus GrantEmail author
  • Adrian Davis


We are at a crucial stage in understanding the issues involved in translating public health evidence for urban planning and transport planning into practice. The city is now the preferred human habitat, yet we seem to be building into its very fabric complex challenges to health. The rise in non-communicable disease, increase in health inequity and the need to better support wellbeing are global concerns. Although we are generating public health evidence in an attempt to provide solutions, the gap between what we think we know, and what we do, never seems to get any narrower. This chapter explores the tensions and the arguments and proposes possible solutions for those involved in this struggle, be they researchers or practitioners. The city is the laboratory for change and the subject. But its complexity and its adaptability make it a laboratory like no other. And as a subject, it responds to our interventions with unpredictability. We need a new transdisiplinary science, not the business as usual of built environment and transport, and beyond the traditional evidence hierarchy of the public health world. New actors and new approaches are needed in the research arena. We need strong advocacy to support good evidence. We need to blend tactical urbanism with action research. And for that sake of future population health; city leadership, from many quarters, needs to learn how to collaborate for co-generation of new knowledge that will make a difference to people’s lives.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Stewardship for HealthBristolUK
  2. 2.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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