Health and Wellbeing Insights


How can we improve health and wellbeing in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park?



FCC, LLDC, OpenPlay, Living Map, BetterPoints, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

The Olympic Park in East London is an area of rapid change and development and an ideal place to test new, community-focused technology interventions. It’s a fast-growing space with residential, commercial and cultural developments growing side-by-side. This project questioned what makes a park a park, and how green spaces and urban development should work together to ensure communities are getting the most out of the areas they live in.

In order to more richly understand how technology may be used to improve health and wellbeing in communities we started with an insight sprint. Our Insight Sprints are rapid research efforts with a holistic approach. They bring together user-led qualitative research alongside case studies and data analysis, and included literature reviews, 13 diary studies, nine expert interviews with people working in the health and wellbeing field, vox pop interviews with local residents, and urban observation over a number of days in the park itself observing how people use the space and what activities currently take place there.

From the research, we uncovered a set of challenges:

Accessibility & Exploration

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a dynamic place of constant change and development. This change can be confusing for visitors but also means there’s always something new to discover.

How might we use connected technologies to maintain good access to the park, keep people informed of changes to the park, and help visitors find great ways to exercise, relax and be healthy?

Safety & Security

It’s essential to a healthy lifestyle that people feel safe and secure in their city. Could innovations help people feel safer in the park, take care of each other, as well as enjoy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by day or night?

The park has been built both for people and for wildlife, with some areas deliberately dark and quiet. How can we help the public understand which areas are safest and most suitable for exploration and different activities?


There’s no one size fits all

People have a diverse set of motivations when it comes to health and wellbeing – there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

How can the park better help different people with diverse needs take the first steps on the journey towards a healthier lifestyle and make this more attainable?

How can we connect people to the buzz of exercise, and inspire them to play and have fun within the growing community of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park?

Connecting with nature

Simply being in nature is good for our health and city dwellers living in built up areas aren’t getting enough of it.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has become a haven for nature and wildlife.

How can we help people discover, explore and understand the wonder of this East London habitat?

How can we give Londoners the full benefits of this urban escape? Could the weather, the smells and the sounds of nature be the key to unlocking healthier lifestyles in the park?

When life gets in the way

No matter who we are, our busy urban lives often prevent us getting adequate exercise or relaxation, and sometimes we don’t recognise the little changes that could make a difference.

How could Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park become part of everyday health for Londoners?

How could we help kick start daily healthy habits that can become part of people’s lives?

Social health habits

Social isolation is a growing problem for people living in cities. At the same time, social activities come with a commitment to each other and a common goal.

Connecting with others is a vital part of health and wellbeing, so how can we foster healthy social activity, peer to peer encouragement and help connect new and existing communities around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park?