HEALTHY CITIES: Bridging Urban Planning and Health

Almost all urban planning policies and actions have an impact on human health. Do you cycle or drive to work? Do you connect with your community or commute through it? And when you’re feeling stressed, is it easy to go for a calming stroll in a green space? All too often, when people hear health policy, they think hospitals. But health is holistic, with the design of our urban environment feeding into whether and how often populations need those hospitals. Urban planners select locations, design spaces, and place services, and there’s ample scientific evidence to indicate these factors have a big impact on health. ISGLOBAL has identified air pollution, noise, heat, and lack of physical activity or natural space as health hazards presented by city living. Good urban planning, however, can not only mitigate the impact of those hazards, but also become a tool for generating health.