Reuniting Planning and Health

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Resource 5: Healthier urban environments – what do they look like?

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Illustrates examples of where health and wellbeing have been an integral part of the design of a development, from large scale urban extensions to smaller housing schemes.

Although these case studies reflect very different scales of development, there are some useful lessons to take away:

  • all of the examples considered aspects of health and wellbeing from the outset of their design, whatever their scale, and this is reflected in the final development
  • this commitment to health and wellbeing comes from the top – leadership is crucial for doing things differently
  • this leadership is backed up by resources, tools and mechanisms that allow for innovation across realistic timeframes
  • improving health and wellbeing outcomes often, but not always, overlaps with environmental benefits such as reducing carbon use
  • there is a high degree of participation from people who will live, or are living, in the development, combined with a vision for what the scheme should achieve.

Case studies

Vauban, Freiburg, Germany

GWL Terrein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Manor Road, Swindon, England

Bluebell Park, Knowsley, England

Examples from Northern Ireland

Connswater Community Greenway

Growing spaces, Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Caffrey Hill development, Clanmil Housing Association

KidsSpace, Belfast Healthy Cities