Tom Albone – Project I

Healthy choices, healthy lives – Holme Wood, Bradford

This project is part of the Act Early: Holme Wood initiative funded by UKPRP and the Alan Turing Institute. We aim to use data science to improve collective understanding of place by supporting strengthening of the community and growth by ‘acting together’.  Some of the concerns raised by the community were a perceived lack of access to affordable and healthy food within the local area.  Healthy Choices, Healthy Lives seeks to understand the barriers to and/or drivers of a healthy lifestyle in one of Bradford’s most deprived areas through combining a range of existing open access and commercial data sources.  One of the key questions is why are food outlets that offer a greater potential for healthier choices and community interventions less accessible?  Another is how can data science techniques be used to identify these problems and model potential solutions? 

 There are several strands to the project through which these goals will be achieved: 

  • Mapping and spatial analysis of the local food and activity environment.  Existing open access datasets will be used for exploratory data analysis. 
  • Identifying barriers to accessibility if any exist and using this to model the optimal location for fresh food outlets. 
  • Comparison of Holme Wood with other areas to identify whether lessons can be shared and transferred to other areas. 
  • Development of an interactive tool for local policy makers and community organisations to support decision-making relating to the food environment. 
  • Engagement with the local community to promote empowerment and confidence with intervention strategies. 

This project will generate impact through providing new insights and a new tool to support decision making in Holme Wood Bradford.  This will also provide a platform to build upon in other geographical areas that require similar support.