Book update: Steps to Healthy Planning: Proposals for Action

Chapter 11: Housing and spatial planning;

11.2 Spatial planning in England;

New report published: Steps to Healthy Planning: Proposals for Action.

In recent years much evidence has accumulated which shows just how important the physical, social and economic environment in which we live and work is for our health.  Many of the issues that spatial planners are responsible for, interact with human health and can, if we get them right, contribute to improving our physical and mental health, and diminish inequalities in health.  Decisions about local transport and open space, for example, can have long-term consequences on health.

A report, called Steps to Healthy Planning: Proposals for Action suggests 12 Action Points for how town planning can improve public health.  These identify practical actions that would improve health outcomes and the people or groups that should carry out such actions.  It provides a clear and concise way for planning and health professionals to work together.

The foreword to the report, written by eminent health inequalities expert, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, highlights the importance of spatial planning to health outcomes, pointing out the potential for town planning to make a difference for those with the poorest health.

The Spatial Planning and Health Group was formed from the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Spatial Planning and Health Programme Development Group (PDG), appointed by NICE to examine the available evidence related to spatial planning and health.  SPAHG began after the PDG ended in November 2010.

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