Dr Suzanne Audrey, Dr Adrian Davis and Marcus Grant, the Directors of the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team, give a round up of what happened in 2015-16.
The Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE HIT) aims to turn Bristol into a healthier city, with built environments that help people of all ages and abilities to be healthier.
SHINE led the Bristol Health Partners response to the West of England joint spatial plan, along with the Child Injury, Active Older People and Dementia HITs. The plan sets the framework for housing development across the Avon area for the next 25 years. Our response was a detailed, evidence-based report which sets down a health marker, to be followed up in the planning process and beyond.
We have been instrumental in setting up the Bristol Walking Alliance, a consortium campaigning to improve Bristol’s walking environment, to create a welcoming, safe, convenient and inclusive environment for pedestrians. Other members include Bristol Civic Society, Bristol Ramblers, Sustrans and some of Bristol’s Neighbourhood Partnerships. Its launch event is on 17 May 2016, during Bristol’s month-long Walk Fest.
Bristol’s inaugural Healthy City Week in October 2015 aimed to inspire the city’s citizens to achieve healthier lifestyles as part of a more sustainable future city. The week was organised as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. More than 3,000 people engaged in over 100 events that promoted ‘wellbeing that doesn’t cost the earth’. As part of the week, we explored our healthy neighbourhoods theme, with a workshop examining health indicators for local places. A small development grant has been awarded to continue this work.
A petition in favour of 20mph limits in Bristol achieved over 4,000 signatures, triggering a full council debate. The 20mph initiative is part of the Council’s Safe Systems Road Safety Plan. We presented at the debate, focussing on the public health benefits of a lower speed limit. Slower speed is central to encouraging people to walk and cycle more. The debate culminated in support from a large majority of councillors and the elected Mayor, and local press published an editorial and articles supporting 20mph in neighbourhoods.
We are working with the Active Older People HIT on a literature review of interventions in the neighbourhood environment that support adult mental health, including older adults. This work complements an earlier paper that looked at changes to neighbourhood infrastructures that support the health of children and young people.
We have continued to publish a regular summary of key evidence from peer-reviewed literature linking health with transport policies and practice, which is held on the Travel West website.