University carries out health study at Media City

Salford University has undertaken a study looking at the potential effects on the health and well-being of those who will live and work at Peel's Media City in Salford Quays.

A health impact assessment is being carried out around the 36-acre development by Dr Marcus Chilaka, which also will look at the health impact on those living in the surrounding areas.

Chilaka, from the school of environment and life sciences, said: "Health and well-being can be affected by many factors – ranging from lifestyle and environment, access to services, housing, air and water quality.

"Virtually every area of human activity has an impact on health so it is important that studies like this are undertaken on major projects such as Media City UK to ensure the positive and negative health aspects of developments are recognised and the results are captured and processed.

"Carrying out these assessments and implementing any changes based on the findings lies at the very heart of corporate social responsibility. By committing to this HIA, the University of Salford is committing to the people who will populate Media City UK and its surrounding areas."

Salford University said HIAs are supported by The World Health Organisation and are a voluntary undertaking, rather than a mandatory requirement.

Salford University added that recent examples of how HIAs can work include a large-scale urban development in King's Cross London which revised plans to allow 24-hour working on projects following the results of a HIA, while in Finland traffic planning arrangements were modified on a major project due to noise and safety implications outlined in a HIA report.

The HIA for Media City is overseen by a steering group whose members include Salford University, Media City UK public sector partners, Peel Group, NHS Salford and Salford City Council.

The project has used research from focus groups and stakeholder workshops. Those concerned include employees, residents, students, visitors and local communities.

The HIA study is set to be completed in May 2011, at which point the findings and any associated recommendations will be made public.

The university's new facility at Media City will become home to more than 1,500 students and staff when it opens in October this year. Initially it will offer a range of courses to undergraduates and postgraduates including audio technology, journalism, animation, computer and video games, digital broadcast technology, and creative technology.

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