Mind and the City – The Great Debate

Tue Apr 20, 2021
6:30pm - 8:00pm
FREE but registration required
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Mental health and wellbeing in the built environment

Accessibility: this event will be supported with BSL interpretation

How come the most densely populated areas in the world are also some of the loneliest? What makes cities so exciting and liveable, yet for some so unforgiving? Cities are associated with higher rates of most mental health problems compared to rural areas: an almost 40% higher risk of depression, over 20% more anxiety, and double the risk of schizophrenia, in addition to more loneliness, isolation and stress* – yet all over the world we flock to them in ever greater numbers.

All this was true before we had ever heard of COVID-19, which brought further stresses in forms that included social isolation, digital exclusion, domestic violence, lack of community resilience and threatened livelihoods.

Can we design our cities to make them more supportive of people and conducive to mental health and wellbeing? What part do residents and communities play in co-designing new solutions?

This is what we are discussing at the UK’s public debate about design and society, an event that’s taken place in Manchester every year since 2014 until COVID struck.

On 20 April 2021 we will be holding our delayed seventh Great Debate as a virtual Zoom event, in partnership with SICK! Festival and Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam as part of the Mindscapes programme.

The debate panel are:

  • Ellen van Loon, Partner at OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and lead architect of Factory Manchester
  • Said Kasmi, Deputy Mayor for Education, Culture and Tourism, City of Rotterdam
  • Leena Haque, Neurodiversity Lead, BBC CAPE
  • Dave Moutrey, CEO of HOME Manchester and Director of Culture for the City of Manchester
  • Mindscapes artist Jan Rothuizen

The debate will be chaired by Design Manchester’s Kasper de Graaf.

* Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health