Why it matters

  • Perspectives on Psychological Science (2015)

    Social isolation, including having few social ties and living alone, increases a person’s risk of dying early by 29%. *
  • Public Health England (2014)

    In the UK, nearly 37,000 deaths per year could be avoided through increased physical activity. *
  • Public Health England (2014)

    Mental illnesses form 23% of the UK’s national disease burden (loss of life quality and early mortality). *
  • Department of Health (2009)

    28% of children in England aged two to 15 are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of disease in later life. *

There are many factors that influence the long-term health and wellbeing of the population, including the nature of the places that people live, work, learn and spend their leisure time in.  

A growing body of evidence is showing how the design of buildings, streets, parks and neighbourhoods can support good physical and mental health, help reduce health inequalities and improve people's wellbeing. Conversely, car-oriented environments and hostile public spaces can contribute to sedentary lifestyles and social isolation, increasing people's risk of disease.

We help the construction, regeneration and green space sectors play their part in improving the health of the nation.


What stops us from creating healthier places?

In November, Design Council responded to a call for research proposals from the social purpose marketing agency Social Change UK. We proposed exploring a difficult question: what stops built environment professionals creating healthier places through their work? Our bid was selected and we are now working with Social Change UK to undertake this research, starting with a survey.

The research will uncover:

  • the barriers that prevent people working in the built environment from creating healthier places through their work 
  • what proessionals are already doing despite these barriers 
  • how these barriers could be overcome in the future

Take the survey

How good are you at creating healthy places?

The joint research project with Social Change UK starts with a survey - we want to hear the experiences and opinions of built environment professionals from all disciplines. Please do share the survey with your colleagues and contacts. 

By completing the survey, you will see a summary of your credentials in creating healthy places, and you can sign up to receive the research findings when they are published. 

The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and runs until Sunday 7 May.  

The research findings will be published in June 2017.

Creating healthy places

How good are you at creating healthy places?

Take the survey