Health and Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing theme was established to recognise how the positive characteristics and qualities of an environment can help people to achieve and experience better quality lifestyles. The relevant content also references the future of healthcare provision within new communities. 

Community spaces, movement corridors and privacy and safety are key features of spaces, and serve to shape how we feel about an environment. The goal is therefore to construct spaces that deliberately deter crime through design and which – by means of natural surveillance, cohesion and a sense of community ownership – help to create socially inclusive, active communities and seek to build in opportunities for residents to be active through their everyday lives. The aim is to make activity the default daily choice through design.

Health and wellbeing can be encouraged and improved by:

  • supporting community leadership and participation through high-quality planning, design and management of the environment;
  • promoting high-quality local employment, affordable housing, sport & recreation facilities, environmental sustainability and skill development;
  • providing convenient local healthcare services with options for (and incentives towards) self-care;
  • providing interesting and stimulating open spaces and natural environments to encourage people to be physically active;
  • ensuring developments embody the principles of lifetime neighbourhoods and promote independent living;
  • promoting access to healthy and locally sourced food;
  • encouraging active travel, most particularly cycling and walking;
  • creating a safe and accessible built environment with well-designed public spaces that encourage community participation;
  • embracing the Smart Cities concept by incorporating and futureproofing for new technology; and
  • ensuring that all work, educational or public spaces are sufficiently well designed to promote active and healthy lifestyles.

This guide encourages all developments to employ the principles of Building Regulations Part M4 Category 2 (Accessible and Adaptable Dwellings) so as to promote independent living. The provision of access to open spaces, natural environments and informal and formal recreation opportunities contributes significantly to the prevention of ill health. Transport corridors should be well-established to encourage cycling and walking as safer, more active alternatives to the car for local journeys.

The health and wellbeing theme is addressed within the following sections of the guide:


Page updated: 22/04/2021

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