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Shaping healthier built environments to improve health at Healthy City Design 2017

Shaping healthier built environments to improve health at Healthy City Design 2017

10 October 2017

Design Council’s Rachel Toms (now on secondment at NHS England), will be presenting at the Healthy City Design (HCD) 2017 International Congress, from 16-17 October. She will be highlighting research that identifies factors preventing architects, urban designers, highway engineers, town planners and other built environment professionals creating buildings, public spaces and neighbourhoods that boost prosperity, improve the natural environment and create health.

Conducted by Design Council together with the social research and campaign company, Social Change UK, the research study will be one of over 60 papers and 40 posters featured at HCD 2017, which is being held at the prestigious Royal College of Physicians, London.

Design Council’s Clare Devine, executive director, strategy, design & innovation will, as a member of HCD2017’s programme committee, also be chairing a session of three presentations on 'The future of active and sustainable travel'.

With more people living in cities than in rural communities for the first time, and as the world confronts a crisis of human and planetary health, cities are the new battleground for rethinking approaches to sustainable development and the creation of a healthier society.

Urban populations are growing at an unprecedented rate, a trend which – when set against the backdrop of an ageing society, rising obesity and chronic conditions, and the urgent need to respond to climate change – presents a powerful case for new thinking on how to design more sustainable, resilient cities that enhance health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

Organised by SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, HCD 2017 brings together leading global researchers, practitioners and policy advisors to explore the theme: “Unleashing health by design: Creating a culture of wellness in our cities”.




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The HDC programme







By supporting the creation of a new interdisciplinary collaboration between public health and medical professionals, urban planners and designers, environmentalists, policymakers and citizens as part of a whole-system approach that recognises the importance of preserving the earth’s natural systems and resources, HCD 2017 hopes to help catalyse a new culture of wellness and health in our cities.

A programme includes keynote addresses by:

  • Valerie Shawcross, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, UK
  • Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and chair of the Lancet/Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health
  • Dr David Pencheon, director, Sustainable Development Unit, NHS and Public Health England
  • Professor Sarah Harper, Director, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, UK
  • Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, Executive chairman, Well North, UK
  • Lord Nigel Crisp KCB, Independent crossbench member of the House
of Lords; Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, UK
  • Dr John Zeisel, president, Hearthstone Alzheimer’s Care, USA

An array of insightful presentations will be heard by international delegates in six core streams: City-making; Sustainable development; Smarter cities; Urban planning; Homes and neighbourhoods; Work and mobility.

To register to learn about Rachel’s research, and participate in the congress, please visit or contact Marc Sansom and the organisers at

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