Good city planning produces co-benefits for individual and planetary health and wellbeing

  • Project dates: 2018 (ongoing)

Good city planning produces co-benefits for individual and planetary health and wellbeing.  In 2016, a Lancet Series on Urban Design, Transport and Health drew attention to the importance of integrated upstream city planning policies as a pathway to creating healthy and sustainable cities. This is because city planning policies determine the local built environment and transport features that influence transportation choices and affect exposures to health risk and protective factors. In Series One, we proposed a set of city planning indicators to benchmark and monitor cities.

In 2018, at the 7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health held in London, the World Health Organization launched its global physical activity strategy for ‘More Active People for a Healthier World’ and the multidisciplinary Global Healthy and Sustainable City-Indicators Collaboration was established.  At meetings of the International Physical Environment Network (IPEN) and the Council of the Environment and Physical Activity (ISPAH CEPA), we recruited collaborators in 25 cities in 19 countries and six continents to participate in this study, which is due for completion in 2022.  With expertise in public health, urban and transport planning, urban design, architecture, computer and geospatial science, behavioural science, statistics, epidemiology, complex systems science, and public policy the aim of the Global Healthy and Sustainable City-Indicators Collaboration was:

To identify and measure health-related policy and spatial indicators in cities worldwide

The Global Healthy and Sustainable City Collaboration involved over 80 collaborators from 25 cities in 19 countries.  To oversee the study, an international 12-member study Executive was established, and has met monthly since 2018. Meet the collaboration network members here.

Read the study, recently published in The Lancet Global Health Urban Design, Transport and Health Series. And visit the Global Observatory of Healthy and Sustainable Cities to find out more and see city reports and  scorecards.