• Urban Heat Islands and Public Health

    The Urban Heat Island (UHI) causes towns and cities to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. Read more

  • Flooding and Public Health

    England has experienced several major flooding events in recent years. The HPRU is undertaking research to assess the impacts of these floods on health and wellbeing.

  • Urban trees and respiratory health

    New research has shown the health benefits of urban trees in reducing the impact of outdoor air pollution. Green space and gardens were associated with reductions in asthma hospitalisations when pollutant exposures were lower but had no significant association when pollutant exposures were higher. Tree density was associated with reduced asthma  when pollutant exposures were higher.

  • Heatwaves, Housing & Health

    Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves in the UK. We are researching the effects of climate change on high indoor temperatures, an important indicator of health risk as people spend most of their time indoors.


Welcome to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health (HPRU ECH).
 The aim of this HPRU is to enable health decisions makers to have the knowledge, foresight and tools to mitigate, adapt to and benefit from environmental change.
We are researching the impacts of and responses to the environmental changes that affect our health. Environmental change includes climate change, land use change (including urbanisation), environmental degradation, and the loss of ecosystem services, in the UK and beyond. We will help Public Health England (PHE) to fulfil its requirements under the National Adaptation Programme and other policies on sustainable development. The HPRU will also produce research of relevance to other government departments regarding the health co-benefits of environmental policies.
Research in this HPRU is organised in three interconnected themes:
57879  Theme 1: Climate Resilience
17-london-night-skyline-cityscape-matthew-gibson Theme 2: Healthy Sustainable Cities
 lady with hat gardening Theme 3: Public Health and the Natural Environment




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