Is your job to make healthy places in NSW? If so take this survey

It’s been well documented by The Fifth Estate that where you live and work shapes how easy it is to buy healthy fooduse active transport, and make social connections. The evidence is clear. But how do we make places that improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for all?

Too often what we intend to achieve falls short on the ground. A 2018 report into so-called “healthy placemaking”, commissioned by the UK Design Council, identified a number of challenges across the UK in delivering a built environment that supports healthy communities.

Some of the challenges reflected the crowded agenda of architects, planners, developers and engineers: making healthier places was considered too complex, too risky or too expensive. Ultimately a luxury rather than a necessity.  

Other challenges reflected the difficulty in translating ideas to reality: whether the need to coordinate across professions, the need to tailor approaches case by case, or the need to draw on expertise that was not readily available. Too often, it was simply beyond the capacity of the sector. 

It is an interesting report. But how salient are its lessons for NSW? Or, like Tolstoy’s families, is the local sector falling short for its own reasons?

I’m heading up a SPHERE-funded project that seeks to find this out. What are the things that assist in actually delivering health-supportive places here in NSW, and what are the things that get in the way? 

We know this is something Fifth Estate readers are passionate about. If you are involved in making places in NSW, we are keen to hear your views. Take our 5 minute survey, or to find out more about the project.

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