Building healthier cities conference hosted at UWE

Issue date: 07 January 2010


Car free transport in Freiburg Building Health: Planning and Designing for Health and Happiness
University of the West of England
Friday 22 January

How do the buildings and the urban environments we inhabit impact on our health? How can we plan and design in a way that integrates healthy and happy living? Are sustainable developments as exemplified in the innovative policies that have transformed the city of Freiburg in Germany feasible in UK cities that have morphed over centuries and given over to arteries created around cars use and ownership?

Researchers at the University of the West of England believe that the urgency to reduce carbon emissions, highlighted by the recent Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, and the concerns of health professionals surrounding sedantry living and resulting obesity can be addressed by planning our cities better.

The Building Health: Planning and Designing for Health and Happiness conference at UWE on Friday 22 January provides a unique opportunity for professionals working in Built Environment and Health arenas to come together and examine good practice in design at home and further afield to help inform future development.

Centre stage will be an exhibition featuring one of the greenest and healthiest cities in Europe – Freiburg. Wulf Dasking, the Director of City Planning in Freiburg is one of the keynote speakers.

One of the conference organisers, Marcus Grant, Deputy Director of UWE's WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy said, “The forward thinking that started around 30 years ago in Freiburg, with a traffic policy giving preference to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users has resulted in a city with an enviable 28 per cent of people using cycles as their primary means of getting around. A holistic approach to sustainability has seen the city incorporate green ideals into every inch of its infrastructure from solar engineering and environmental and climate protection to waste avoidance and management of open green spaces. We can learn so much from the planning policies set up in the city of Freiburg and we're delighted that Wulf Dasking will be joining us at the conference.”

The high profile line up of speakers also includes Irena Bauman of Bauman Lyons architects and author of How to be a Happy Architect, Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE and Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space.

The conference is hosted by the Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment at the University of the West of England and is a collaboration between the Architecture Centre in Bristol, the Department of Health South West, the South West Strategic Health Authority, Government Office of the South West and UWE's WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy.

The conference will coincide with the publication of the long-awaited second edition of UWE's Shaping Neighbourhoods. Aimed at practitioners, the book brings alive the conference themes of planning, sustainability and health.

Online booking for the conference

-ENDS-

Editors notes:
For more information on UWE's WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy
www.bne.uwe.ac.uk/who/default.asp

For more information on Freiburg
http://www.freiburg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1140679_l2/index.html
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