Science blog

Exploring science at the British Library

13 May 2022

Healthy Cities - How do we make London happier and healthier after Covid-19?

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After longer than two years Covid-19 is still with us, and while we are doing our best to live with it, many questions remain about its long-term impacts. The negative impacts are all to evident in our daily lives, from the personal loss for those who have lost the loved ones, to long-term physical and mental health impacts, which we are still grappling to understand, the state of economy, the impact on educational outcomes for young people, the rise in poverty and so on. Yet, if there is a sunnier side of things, there is a hope that we have learned some important lessons that can help us improve the way in which our society and our cites work.

There is no doubt that London has become livelier in the recent months, but we know that it is not quite like it used to be. On the other hand, many would say that there are many things that we do not want to be the way they used to be – just consider the return to daily commute on the crowded tube trains!

This Sunday, we are welcoming the Med Fest to the British Library, to celebrate all things medical, but also to discuss how London can become happier and healthier place after Covid-19. We will discuss how past pandemics have shaped the London we know, how the city's health coped during COVID-19 and how we can prepare for the next pandemic. We will also look at the real-life examples of how communities have become healthier and improved their lives.

To help us engage with these urgent questions affecting us all, we will be welcoming the following speakers:

  • Dame Carol Black, Chair of the British Library and the UK Government's high-level policy adviser on health and work, and the misuse of illegal drugs
  • Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive at Impact on Urban Health, and Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation
  • Martin Gorsky, Professor of History at the Centre for History in Public Health, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Rita Issa, GP and planetary health academic, London’s Sustainable City Public Sector Changemaker 2022
  • Layla McCay, Director of the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, and Policy Director at NHS Confederation
  • Ashley McKimm, Director of Innovation at the British Medical Journal, and Editor-in-Chief, BMJ Innovations
  • Audrey de Nazelle, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
  • Richard Watson, Futurist-in-Residence, Entrepreneurship Centre at Judge Business School, Cambridge University
  • Kirsten Watters, Director of Public Health at London Borough of Camden

Everyone is welcome. Join us by signing up here for your free place.

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