Designing for good health, or simply good planning?

Those involved in the delivery and creation of new places recognise the link between good placemaking and improved health – it’s not rocket science. Reassuringly, this is becoming more widely recognised beyond just us built environment professionals.

NHS England has launched new guidance – Putting Health into Place – to draw together these two disciplines to achieve healthy compact neighbourhoods, towns and cities. DLA supported the TCPA in compiling the built environment strand to the new guidance. After all, promoting healthy and sustainable communities is what we do.

The most effective way to get people healthier and reduce spending on conditions linked with physical inactivity, is prevention through good planning. A well-designed development will foster physical health and wellbeing; one that facilitates active travel to connect people and places, set within attractive green spaces.

The active use of spaces for recreation and food growing can be supported by digital technology. Social prescribing by health care professionals can refer people to non-clinical services, such as a range of sports, gardening and cooking classes, to support healthy lifestyles.

Collaborative working of planners, health providers and developers will be fundamental in bringing together these two disciplines. Will this help to deliver a new generation of Healthy New Towns?

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