Pandemics, vulnerability, and prevention: time to fundamentally reassess how we value and communicate risk?

Daniel Black, Geoff Bates, Andy Gibson, Eli Hatleskog, Eleonora Fichera, Jenny Hatchard, Md Nazmul Hasan, Ges Rosenberg, Charles Larkin, Rachel Brierley, Judy Kidger, Krista Bondy, Matt Hickman, Kathy Pain, Ben Hicks, Gabriel Scally, Arpana Verma, Neil Carhart, Paul Pilkington, Alistair HuntPaddy Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
9 Downloads (Pure)


For over a decade, pandemics have been on the UK National Risk Register as both the likeliest and most severe of threats. Non-infectious ‘lifestyle’ diseases were already crippling our healthcare services and our economy. COVID-19 has exposed two critical vulnerabilities: firstly, the UK’s failure to adequately assess and communicate the severity of non-communicable disease; secondly, the health inequalities across our society, due not least to the poor quality of our urban environments. This suggests a potentially disastrous lack of preventative action and risk management more generally, notably with regards to the existential risks from the climate and ecological crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s93-s96
Number of pages4
JournalCities and Health
Issue numberSup1
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The TRUUD Consortium has been funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP), which is made up of the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Natural Environment Research Council, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), The Health Foundation and the Wellcome Trust; UK Prevention Research Partnership [MR/S037586/1].


  • cities
  • inequality
  • Non-communicable disease
  • priorities
  • risk
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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