Welcome to Planet Rock

Co-creating inclusive, healthy living environments in underprivileged, superdiverse neighbourhoods using AI-infused, youth-centered action research

The Problem

The harsh reality is that youth growing up in underprivileged urban neighbourhoods are less happy, less hopeful and less healthy. These health inequalities can largely be traced back to unhealthy lifestyles and living environments. Sustainable reductions in health inequalities require a holistic and inclusive approach.


The solution

Planet Rock empowers youth aged 12-17 in underprivileged neighbourhoods to improve their own living environment, health and well-being. In four field labs (called ‘Rock Shops’) across underprivileged neighbourhoods in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, they will team up with researchers, policy makers, youth workers and urban designers to co-create physically- and socially-activating urban environments. Such environments structurally and positively influence lifestyles and social cohesion, thereby promoting health and well-being, and ultimately reducing health inequalities.

PlanetRock Timeline

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Local Rock Shops are set-up with local youth and stakeholders. The first participatory meetings, planned during the extended proposal phase, are focussed on mapping the most pertinent challenges and opportunities in the local environments.


Each Rock Shop will build a systems map of local determinants for healthy lifestyles, using participatory methods (e.g. photo voice, community mapping) enriched with existing data (e.g. open, municipal, device-based) and AI tools (e.g. agent-based modelling, machine learning).


In the Rock shops, the Positive Deviance strategy empowers youth to discover what they can learn from the positive exceptions in their daily environment. AI-based systems discover these outliers (i.e.: physical spaces, groups, individuals) informing the co-creation of socially- and physically-activating environments. Changes in lifestyles will be monitored using wearable sensor-based data complemented with other sources.


The overall impact and process evaluation results in a theoretical (new explanatory models), technical (AI, algorithms) and practical toolkit (co-creation approaches). The toolkits serve as a blueprint for Rock Shops across the globe.

The opportunity

We have the opportunity to acquire a grant of €3 million to realise this innovative project, provided that 15% is matched in kind or in cash by societal partners. Our vision is to find partners with similar interests and align with their goals and activities. Therefore, we are looking for partners who are interested in:

1. Co-funding Planet Rock in kind or in cash (for now, we only need your expression of interest and consent to mention your name and organization in the proposal)

2. Co-creating the final proposal.

End of March 2021 we hope to receive an invitation to expand the proposal, and we will get in touch to discuss the nature and degree of your desired involvement.


Let's Rock?

For more information, please contact prof. dr. Mai Chin A Paw