The report calls on local authorities to integrate public health considerations into planning policies and programmes and to have a truly joined-up approach to improve their city’s health through the following steps:

  1.  Local authorities that are comprised of less than 50% green space and/or have a housing density of over 5% must produce a Healthy Infrastructure Action Plan as part of their Local in an in conjunction with Health and Wellbeing Boards . They must outline their strategy for making streets and parks safer and more attractive and they must outline the principles they expect new developments to meet in order to gain planning permission.
  2.  Local Authorities that are comprised of less than 50% green space and/or have a housing density of over 5% should redirect a proportion of their Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts to fund their Healthy Infrastructure Action Plan.
  3. We also recognise the crucial role that central government has to play in ensuring that planning policy helps foster joined-up thinking and public health funding is targeted at those places with the worst health outcomes. We recommend that
  4. Planning guidance must include guidance as to how planners and developers can aid healthy lifestyles by ensuring places are safe and attractive, to encourage people to walk and cycle more safely.
  5.  Seven of the 10 city local authorities with the worst health performance have not received the higher growth rate (10% or above) of ring fenced grants to spend on public health services. These local authorities should be prioritised in the next round of grants and should use the increase to invest in actions specified in their Health Infrastructure Investment Plan .
  6. To truly transform our cities and make them healthier places, we need to think about how we design and build in health from the outset. Developers and architects need to recognise the responsibility they have in creating healthier environments. We recommend that:
  7.  Built environment organisations, in particular housing developers and architects should commit to pledges 3 and 4 of the Responsibility Deal Physical Activity Network .
  8.  Developers should use the Design and Access Statement to prove how their new developments will benefit public health though their design of the public realm and its links to existing infrastructure. They should identity characteristics of the local area and the view of local people as to what constitutes beautiful architecture and public space.

Read the full report here