Where you live matters
Poor-quality housing increases your risk of severe ill health by 25%. In contrast living in a well-planned neighbourhood means you’re more likely to walk and cycle. You might not feel it matters to you now, but lack of physical activity contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK. And a well-planned neighbourhood can support up to 59% of NHS-recommended weekly activity without that expensive gym membership.
High quality housing
High quality affordable housing delivered through the planning system reduces the risk of illnesses, overcrowding and homelessness saving the NHS at least £240 million per year. And that excludes savings from improved mental health. In 2019, the planning system helped to deliver nearly half of the 69,000 units of affordable housing completed in England, Scotland and Wales. Surely that makes affordable housing delivered through the planning system a top priority.
Would you want to live in a community with nowhere to play football, go for a bike ride, or just pop out for a walk and a chat with your mates? Green spaces in Great Britain provide £16.5 billion in environmental, health and amenity value per year. Planning plays a direct role in delivering that value.
Just how far do you want to travel to work and what are you prepared to pay for your season ticket? The location of housing matters and currently 73% of planning housing permissions in England are located within 10km of an area with 10,000 or more jobs. Just saving 30 minutes a day on your commute could save you up to 7,200 minutes a year thanks to good town planning.
Keeping children healthy
Planning policies prevent excess air pollution, which costs the UK £9-19 billion each year. This can be through assessing air quality for major developments, promoting active travel like cycling, and policies to tackle air pollution. Long term exposure to man-made air pollution in the UK has an annual effect equivalent to 28,000 to 36,000 deaths, so the role of town planning can help save lives.
The round up!
Planners play a key role in shaping the society we want to live in. Few other jobs have such a significant influence over health, the environment, the economy, safer streets, and housing just to mention a few.
Think planning might be for you. Find out a bit more about how to become a planner including what kinds of subjects might help you enter the profession.