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Design Council's prescription for healthy places


Rachel Toms has been leading on the built environment for the Design Council’s advice on the NHS England’s healthy new towns initiative. She joined the Future Cities Forum event on “Healthy Cities” to discuss a project she has been running on health and design at the Design Council.

'In a nutshell the research results show that compact, mixed use, highly walkable, leafy neighbourhoods, with great parks, are best for tackling preventable disease in the built environment. Leicester, Hackney and Bradford have all done some great work recently on this theme' Rachel commented.

Rachel described how the Design Council partnered with Social Change UK on research on healthy place making, taking a full picture from a wide spectrum of professionals with a cohort of 400 written surveys and 27 in depth phone interviews. The main barriers included a “silo” culture operating between different professions and specialists, and a lack of more user friendly case studies showing how health can be successfully included in place-making, and a need to review the finance models for development in the UK.

Rachel concluded with a question that has been asked before: “What if all built environment professionals were educated together for first part of their qualification, as in medicine?”

Watch Rachel discussing how health can included in place-making in the video above.

#DesignCouncil #healthycities

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