A direct link to health and wellbeing
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. Lack of physical activity also contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK, yet a well-planned neighbourhood can support up to 59% of NHS-recommended weekly activity without that expensive gym membership.
Good planning is directly linked to health and wellbeing. How far you house is from your job or college, where your nearest park is, what your home is like; all these things can influence your physical and mental wellbeing, and all are directly influenced by the decisions of planners. Its why local authority planners were categorised as ‘critical’ key workers during the pandemic as planners play a key role in tackling inequality and exclusion, reviving the economy and tackling climate change.
Good planning is also linked to improving air quality by making travel safer. In some parts of the UK you might have seen segregated cycle lanes popping up during the pandemic. They might not be a permanent solution, but it’s a great example of how planners can quickly respond to the challenges COVID has created. What’s more the design of new developments can have a real impact on pollution levels – for example by ensuring there is easily accessible public transport, and safe places to walk and cycle.