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Working with collaborators around the theme of urban public health


Cities have always brought both benefits and threats for human health. In an increasingly urbanised world, the challenge is now how to manage our cities so that they foster sustainable wellbeing for their inhabitants and the planet.

SUPHI (Social Science and Urban Public Health Institute) is a collaboration from across and beyond King’s College London. We aim to bring insights from social theory to bear on urgent questions in public health and to develop inter-disciplinary methods for responding to these.

A shared aim is to develop pragmatic, empirically mindful approaches to problems that are emerging in the everyday conduct of public health. Innovative theory and methods are needed to address ‘real world’ public health challenges. Rather than grand solutions or technical fixes, we will foster new ways of approaching these by bringing together ‘theory’ and ‘practice’.

Our over-arching research questions include:

  • How do different urban forms shape health? How does the city ‘get under the skin’ of those who live in it?
  • How does city governance foster (or not) citizenship and participation?
  • What are the roles of digital and other technologies in configuring urban health?
  • How are local neighbourhoods experienced in a globalised world?


Judith Green is Professor of Sociology of Health in the School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences. She has researched and published widely on qualitative methods, transport and health, risk and professions. Her current research interests are in critical public health, mobility & health, and methodologies for evaluation.

Stephani Hatch combines her background in sociology and psychiatric epidemiology as a Reader at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Her research focuses on urban mental health and inequalities in health and health service use. She also leads the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON) for public and service user engagement in the local community.

Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London which he founded in 2012.  He is a social and political theorist, with a particular focus on questions of political power, mental health, psychiatry and neuroscience.  His most recent books include The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (2007); Governing The Present (with Peter Miller, 2008) and Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (with Joelle Abi-Rached, 2013).  His current work seeks to develop new relations between the social sciences and the life sciences, partly through research on mental health, migration and megacities: his forthcoming book The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City (with Des Fitzgerald) will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018.  His long overdue book on Our Psychiatric Future? was published by Polity Press in 2018.

For more information on our directors, members and advisory board, please see the people tab below. 


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