Design Council has launched a collaborative national research survey to better understand the barriers that stop built environment professionals from creating healthier places through their work. The large-scale survey will explore the role of professionals such as architects, urban designers, highways engineers and town planners in addressing health challenges in the UK.
The objective of the survey is to discover what hinders built environment professionals in creating places that could help people of all ages and backgrounds lead healthy, active lives, eat well and enjoy their social lives. "There are many good examples of how designers are shaping places that help us all to live healthier and happier lives," said Clare Devine, Design Council's Executive Director for Architecture, Built Environment and Design. "However, despite the growing evidence of the vital role placemaking can play in improving health, we are not seeing healthy environments being created at the scale required. We instigated this research as now it is time to tackle these issues through the way we shape our buildings, streets, parks and neighbourhoods."
Disparities in health have led to nearly 17-year differences in 'healthy life expectancy' - time living in good health - between different groups of people across the UK, with those living in the most deprived areas living fewer years overall and more years in poor health. The findings of the research will inform future work to help tackle public health issues such as this through development and regeneration.