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CDRC students are prize-winners at GISRUK Conference

Congratulations to Abigail Hill and Shunya Kimura, who both won prizes at the GISRUK Conference, 6-8 April 2022.

Abigail Hill, a PhD student with CDRC and UCL Geography, won the Best Early-Career Presentation Award, sponsored by Google, for her presentation on “An investigation of the impact and resilience of British High streets following the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions”.  

Abigail’s research uses hierarchical clustering with spatial constraints to create a typology of resilience across Britain’s high streets. The analysis incorporates a measure of the proportion of stores deemed as ‘essential’ by the British government during the numerous lockdown periods. The research found that the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions exacerbated pre-existing trends in vacancy especially for those high streets struggling before the pandemic.

Retail vacancies

Abigail said: “I am so grateful to everyone who voted for me to win the award, I hope they enjoyed my presentation and could see the policy benefits of my research”.

Shunya Kimura, a PhD student with CDRC and UCL Geography, won the CASA Prize for Best Spatial Analysis Paper, for his presentation on “Exploring the spatial disparities in gambling risk and vulnerability”. The prize is sponsored by CASA in memory of Sinesio Alves Junior.

Shunya’s research explores gambling risk and vulnerability. Gambling harm disrupts the health and wellbeing of individuals, as well as families, communities and societies around them. Despite the growing recognition that gambling harms are socially and geographically uneven in their occurrence and impacts, there is limited empirical knowledge about the factors underlying the disparities. Here, we quantitatively profiled nationwide gambling surveys using a series of small area geodemographic data. Results were synthesized to devise a composite indicator of gambling risk and vulnerability that can be mapped to provide new insights into public health strategies to tackling gambling harms in a more effective manner.

Risk around Manchester

Shunya said: “I was shocked when they called my name as the prize winner but am very much honoured and proud to have our work recognised. I am grateful to the CDRC team for all their continuous support, and winning the prize has definitely given me a motivational boost in developing my research further.”

It was a great opportunity to present our research and forge collaborations for future work, as well as being the first in-person GISRUK conference for 2 years.

UCL Geography Early Career Researchers at GISRUK 2022, L to R: Jakub Wyszomierski, Louise Sieg, James Todd, Shunya Kimura (CASA Prize winner), Abigail Hill (ECR Prize winner), Jason Tang.