An Open Invitation: Understanding Obesity in our City

Learning how obesity is organised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Urban obesity is a unique phenomenon, shaped by the nuances of urban living. Most efforts to address this problem adopt a medical perspective with a focus on the clinical and corporeal aspects of obesity. However, this focus has contributed little to reducing obesity: in fact, obesity rates have steadily increased, with Malaysia now the most obese nation in Southeast Asia.

To address this issue, An Open Invitation aims to use a multi-disciplinary approach to uncover and understand the complexities of urban obesity as it transcends different communities, industries and sectors. Working with community leaders in Kuala Lumpur City Centre, we will create a map of understandings that will detail people, spaces, tensions, coincidences, impacts and themes relating to obesity. The map will lay the groundwork for further research into urban obesity in Kuala Lumpur, working toward the development of context-specific and co-designed strategies and solutions that will address the multi-faceted contributors of urban obesity that have prevented successful change in the past. 

1st image by Robyn Remke; 2nd image by Aaron Suggs, via Flickr; 3rd image from wikipedia; 4th image by Sam Saunders, via Flickr; 5th image by anokarina, via Flickr

Project Team

BoykoBoyko Christopher Boyko Urban Design and Behaviour, Internet of Things, Protest/Resistance, Town Planning, Urban Sustainability, Wellbeing
Luján EscalanteLuján Escalante Malé Luján Escalante Ethics through Design, Creative Exchange, Digital Public Space, Philosophy of Technology, Feminist Techno-science, Mobilities
Robyn Remke Robyn Remke Lecturer, Management School, Lancaster University
NoralfishahSulaiman NoralfishahSulaiman Senior Lecturer, Department of Real Estate Management, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
Harold Thwaites Harold Thwaites Professor, Centre for Research- Creation in Digital Media, Sunway University


Successful urban obesity workshops in Malaysia!

Successful urban obesity workshops in Malaysia!

Research team visited Sunway University to learn about urban obesity from experts and community members

In July, the Lancaster team travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to co-faciliate a meeting with obesity experts alongside a workshop with members of local communities.  Throughout the...Read full update