Reuniting Planning and Health

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Planning for Healthy Communities resource pack


Healthy urban environments are a long standing core theme for World Health Organization Healthy Cities. The focus of work within this theme is to explore and identify how to reunite planning and public health – disciplines which shared origins in tackling poor living conditions in 19th century cities. 

Our work in Belfast has focused on developing an understanding of the concept between the health and planning sectors; producing evidence briefs on the health impacts of urban environments and exploring delivery of the concept through demonstration projects. Capacity building has also been a key area of work. 

This resource has been developed as part of this agenda.  It is designed to help inform and support planning and local government reform and is aimed at elected representatives as well as professionals in the local government, health, housing and regeneration sectors. It outlines how planning influences health and wellbeing, and highlights potential areas for action. It includes examples of good practice, from Northern Ireland, the UK and elsewhere in Europe, and introduces emerging collaboration arrangements between health and planning professionals used by local authorities in England. The resource is intended as a starting point for creating a shared understanding of the key issues, and it is hoped that it can provide a basis for both further capacity building and exploring intersectoral collaboration for healthier places in the future.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Chang of Town and Country Planning Association and Andrew Ross of Final Draft Consultancy, who developed the resource. Special thanks go to Neil Dunlop, Justine Daly and Bryan Nelson, who acted as a project advisory group and in particular to Jonna Monaghan from Belfast Healthy Cities’ office, who managed the project.

Nigel McMahon
Chair, Belfast Healthy Cities

Joan Devlin
Chief Executive, Belfast Healthy Cities