This week Bristol won a global award for being a healthy, liveable city, and an exhibition on the anatomy of a green capital is on at the Architecture Centre in central Bristol. The Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE HIT) had a part to play in these demonstrations of Bristol's credentials as a healthy place to live.
SHINE HIT aims to turn Bristol into a healthier city, with built environments that help people to be more healthy. This will be achieved by integrating health, well-being and social inclusion with urban development and planning to reduce health risks and promote healthier lifestyles.
The team includes experts from both Bristol universities, the city council and NHS acute and mental health trusts. Its core purpose is to use innovative research and sound science to influence future planning policy and investment decisions, producing positive outcomes that improve people's health and promote social inclusion across Bristol.
SHINE HIT is working in several key areas to help ensure that budgets spent on city renewal, renovation and transport align with positive outcomes for people's health and community cohesion.
The team has been involved in several pieces of work funded by Public Health England (PHE) at a national level. Projects include a south west survey led by Adrian Davis on the feasibility of setting-up a responsive service for queries on the planning and health evidence base, and a development management review of the urban food system and spatial planning for Bristol City Council.
Marcus Grant has given evidence at a public planning inspectors hearing for Bristol Development Management Policies. He was supported by Stephen Hewitt in the SHINE leadership group who is a health-focussed planner in the city council. Using a health evidence base, they have argued for, and achieved, an increase in the ratio of secure cycle spaces with respect to development size to be provided in all new housing in Bristol. Marcus was a keynote speaker for the Academy of Urbanism Congress in May with a presentation called 'This place is killing us'. Marcus is a member of the reference group for Public Health England's 'Healthy Places, Healthy People' programme.
Suzanne Audrey is focussing on walking in the urban environment. She works with the Bristol City Council Walking Festival planning group. Her recent work with SHINE director Professor Ashley Cooper at the University of Bristol Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences is the first to objectively measure the contribution of walking to work to adult physical activity levels. She spoke at a twilight talk at the Architecture Centre entitled 'Bristol - walking city' in May, and contributed to the Architecture Centre's Living City exhibition which focuses on the anatomy of a healthy city.