Title/Subject: Built Environment and Human Health: Development of GIS Based Measures of Urban Design for Health Research
Supervisor: Professor Chris Webster
Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, UKHEA.
Have contributed in my capacity as TA to:
GIS Tutorials & Workshops on Spatial analysis with GIS for BSc Geography & Planning students (Module: Practising Geographical/ Planning Research, CP0233 & CP0235) at CPLAN, Cardiff University, UK (academic years 2010-11, 2011-12 and presently).
ArcGIS Workshops on Spatial Planning for MSc International Planning and Development students (Module: Spatial Planning, CPT786) at CPLAN, Cardiff University, UK (academic years 2010-11, and 2011-12).
Designing healthy cities: The associations between urban morphometrics and health outcomes
My PhD project aimed to understand the inherent relationships between the built environment and health outcomes. The constituent components of the built environment, especially its design and the configuration of land use and street networks, governs the distribution of resources and services, configures the neighbourhood activity space, and thereby influences individual physical activity behaviours, weight outcomes as well as well being. Enhanced accessibility to health-promoting community resources improve local opportunities for physical activity, thereby enhancing mobility, social interactions and independence as well as reducing isolation.
The study followed an evidence-based approach. Drawing upon the data layers of UK Ordinance Survey spatial database, I employed the state-of-the-art spatial and network analysis techniques to quantify the various facets of urban built environment with the potential to influence individual's health. The Spatial Domain Network Analysis for Urban Health (SDNA-UH), a high resolution GIS database comprising of developed built environment morphological metrics (morphometrics) was developed for the assembly constituency of Caerphilly, South Wales. GIS based spatial analysis and street network models were employed to construct more than 100 objectively measured built environmental morphometrics, broadly categorized under dwelling level, land use, street network accessibility, physical environment and area level deprivation variables.
The research employed anonymized individual heath data from the 3rd, 4th and 5th phases of Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS), a population-based cohort of male adults in the Welsh Assembly constituency of Caerphilly, South Wales. The CaPS database has been coupled with the developed SDNA-UH so as to produce a set of built environment morphometrics within the vicinity of each CaPS respondent's dwelling location. A series of multi level models enabled examination of the association between built environment configuration and health outcomes including perceived general health, disability, obesity and psychological disorders.
Apart from my PhD research, I am conducting a research study aiming to decipher the associations between city structure and individual physical activity behaviour for the London boroughs.
C. Sarkar, J. Gallacher, C. Webster. Built environment and psycholgical distress in later life - Results from the Caerphilly Study. Revisions submitted to BMC Public Health, October 2012 (MS ID: 1158844501824107).
C. Sarkar, J. Gallacher, C. Webster (2013) Built environment configuration and change in body mass index: The Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS). Health & Place, 19, 33-44 (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.10.001).
V.R. Sumathi, U. Natesan, C. Sarkar (2008) A GIS based approach for optimized site selection for municipal solid waste landfill. Waste Management, 28, 2146–2160 (doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2007.09.032).
Chinmoy Sarkar & S. A. Abbasi (2006) Cellular-automata-based forecasting of the impact accidental fire and toxic dispersion in process industries. Journal of Hazardous Materials, A137, 2006, pp. 8-30 (doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2006.01.081).
C. Sarkar & S. A. Abbasi (2006) Enhancing the accuracy of forecasting the impacts of accidents in chemical process industry by the application of cellular automata technique. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Trans IChemE, 84 (B4), pp. 1-16 (doi: 10.1205/psep.04316).
Chinmoy Sarkar & S. A. Abbasi (2006) QUALIDEX – A new software for generating water quality indice. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 119(1-3), pp. 201-231 (doi: 10.1007/s10661-005-9023-6).
C. Webster, C. Sarkar & J. Gallacher. Healthy Cities: Public Health through Urban Planning. Contract signed with Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, UK (due to be delivered by March, 2013).