Ramboll Foundation announces top prize for research on mental wellbeing for sustainable cities

28 June 2022
Early career researchers are invited to apply for the 2022 Flemming Bligaard Award. The EUR 65,000 prize recognises ground-breaking research that helps improve mental health in urban environments, enabling sustainable change for the benefit of people, nature, and society.  
Copyright: @Ture Andersen / ture@ouro.dk

Copyright: @Ture Andersen / ture@ouro.dk

Søren Staugaard Nielsen

Managing Director, Ramboll Foundation
T: +45 51 61 78 86

More than four billion people live in cities today, and nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2040.  

Resilient, sustainable, and liveable cities require inhabitants who work productively, contribute to the community, and cope with the stresses of life. The mental health and wellbeing of people is central to success of cities, going hand-in-hand with restoring nature and mitigating climate change. 

Therefore, the Ramboll Foundation is delighted to announce the 2022 Flemming Bligaard Award which calls on early-career researchers to submit their ground-breaking research within the theme “Mental wellbeing in cities.” 

“Mental health is an often invisible and neglected aspect in developing cities and urban environments. It’s critical we address this gap as global urban populations rise, so cities can develop in sustainable ways that meet the needs of people, nature, and communities,” says Søren Staugaard Nielsen, Managing Director of the Ramboll Foundation. “The Foundation is honoured to once again support the best and brightest research talent by way of the Flemming Bligaard Award.” 

Urban mental health issues are complex, so early-career researchers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the award. The intended research outcomes must have the potential to be replicable, scalable, and applicable in diverse urban environments. 

The award includes a prize of EUR 65,000, among the more generous in the professional services industry.  
Applications deadline: 10 October 2022. 

Research focus areas for the 2022 award 

Cross-sectoral and cross-cultural insights and tools are needed to tackle the growing problem of mental distress impacting people living in cities today. As such, the award aims to attract a broad range of research talent within fields such as architecture, engineering, sociology, psychology, public health, urban design, and urban planning.  

However, it is vital that the applicant’s proposed or on-going research:  

  • Examines the relationship of city and/or neighbourhood-scale mental wellbeing 
  • Explores interactions between mental health and the integration of nature in cities 
  • Defines key drivers and/or barriers for promoting mental wellbeing in cities
  • Provides methods, tools, or outcomes that are replicable, scalable, and applicable in diverse urban environments 

Applications must be received by 10 October 2022. 

For details about the application process please click here.
If you have questions about the application process, contact Ramboll Foundation MD Søren Staugaard Nielsen 

About the Award 

The Flemming Bligaard Award aims to uncover bright ideas, new knowledge, and applicable sustainable solutions that provide knowledge to society. Former Ramboll CEO, Flemming Bligaard Pedersen, stepped down as chair of the Ramboll Foundation in 2020. To honour Flemming’s 44 years of service, the Ramboll Foundation created a EUR 65,000 award for an early-career researcher whose work represents extraordinary contributions to sustainable development.  

Previous winners 

Anne Lyck Smitshuysen of the Technical University of Denmark won in 2021 for her research into scaling up the production of green hydrogen, which can displace fossil fuel-based energy and speed up the transition to renewable energy. Her research could help cut production costs by 15% and ramp up deployment of green hydrogen.  

Colin Rose won the inaugural award in 2020 for his research on how to replace concrete and steel with cross-laminated secondary timber (CLST), which is made out of layers of reclaimed wood. Use of CLST avoids carbon emissions as it contains less than half the embodied carbon of concrete and has a carbon-negative impact when sequestration is considered. 

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