19 October 2016
Our towns and cities are making people ill!
Nick Childs

It is estimated that a massive 47% of illness is connected to living conditions. This means that the homes in which people live and the towns and cities in which these homes are located are contributing to the poor health of the nation. This is a shocking statistic and one that cannot be ignored by anyone involved in the creation and management of the built environment.

A group of experts made up of architects, planners, councillors and health professionals gathered at the Bristol Architecture Centre this week to consider the problem and what can be done about it.

It is generally recognised that a combination of factors common in our towns and cities, including poor living conditions, lack of transport, pollution, lack of access to green space and social isolation, all lead to wide variety of health issues including obesity and depression.

So how do we develop healthy neighbourhoods?

“This is a complex issue,” commented Nick Childs, Chair of Trustees of The Architecture Centre and Design Director at Childs+Sulzmann Architects. “The headline for the event was ‘build-in health or build more hospitals’, which certainly caught everyone’s attention. We need to understand exactly how we should be influencing design to make positive change and so it is critical that we have these discussions and share our research and knowledge. It is only by doing this that we can establish the nature and extent of these issues and use this to inform policy and practice going forward,”

The Bristol Architect Centre is host to regular discussions and events designed to inspire, inform and involve people in shaping a better built environment.