As world leaders grapple with the realities of implementing the historic Paris climate change deal, Bristol is taking a typically local approach to the major challenge of how a future city can tackle health and sustainability in the real world. This question is one of the big policy issues being addressed as part of Healthy City Week Bristol, which takes place from 15-22 October across the city.
To mark the halfway point of Healthy City Week, a series of events on Wednesday 19 October will focus on the intersection of public health, our built environment and sustainability.
An afternoon panel debate hosted by Sustrans in the Healthy City Week Hub at Triodos Bank will ask the question ‘ Should our transport system be considered a public health issue?’ With public transport, parking and speed limit initiatives provoking ongoing discussions in the city, a panel of experts will present the case from their own specialism. Panellists include health and transport expert Dr Adrian Davis, Cabinet Member for Transport Councillor Mark Bradshaw, town planner Mike Harris, Business West Director James Durie and Zoe Banks-Gross of Easton Energy Group and East Bristol Kidical Mass. Questions from the audience will be chaired by Bristol 24/7’s Martin Booth.
Head over to Watershed early evening where the Bristol Urban ID (Integrated Diagnostics) project will have its official launch. This innovative UK Research Council funded project will explore the dilemmas and issues of urban living. It will aim to answer big questions like how we can create a carbon neutral city by 2050, and make the city more inclusive and equitable, enhancing citizen health and happiness. The project is led by Bristol Green Capital Partnership.
The day ends with an event aiming to explore what keeps people and communities healthy, from the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments (SHINE) team, part of Bristol Health Partners. It will be an opportunity to hear from residents who are making their neighbourhoods healthier, better places to live, and to contribute to a healthy neighbourhoods checklist.
Healthy City Week is a unique programme that enables organisations and individuals to exchange ideas, make connections and catalyse change that will help us achieve a more sustainable city with a high quality of life for all. Discussions run throughout the week, from the first conference of the Bristol Walking Alliance to a panel discussion with Bristol Energy Network on health inequalities and climate change. ‘Developing healthy neighbourhoods: Build-in health or build more hospitals’ will challenge property developers and town planners to take health seriously when designing urban environments and Bristol Community Health CIC will ask whether the NHS should promote self-care to become more sustainable.
Bristol City Council’s Director of Public Health, Becky Pollard addresses ‘Putting health in all policies and making prevention everyone’s business’ on Monday 17 October at City Hall. This event will bring together policy-makers and decision-takers from across the public sphere, with representatives from Bristol’s neighbourhoods, to focus on the contribution they can make to improving citizens’ health. Also on Monday, Equality Bristol will present ‘Closing the gap: Action on inequalities in Bristol, leadership and community cohesion’ at Knowle West Media Centre. This event includes a free screening of ‘The Divide’.
The use of technology to keep people healthier, while reducing CO2 emissions, will also come into focus at a presentation from the University of Bristol’s health monitoring SPHERE project on Thursday 20 October. And theory and policy become action during Healthy City Week, as health and wellbeing activities are taken to Bristol’s neighbourhoods throughout the week at community centres, health centres and places of work.
Fi Hance, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Bristol City Council, said:
“Health and sustainability are everyone’s collective responsibility: we can only solve the major challenges facing us through working together. Public institutions are one part of a large and complex landscape, which includes individuals, neighbourhoods, cities, governments and the private sector, all pulling together. Through Healthy City Week, so many innovative Bristol-based projects and initiatives are being showcased, all beacons of hope for a healthier, more equal and sustainable future together.”
Ian Townsend, Chief Executive of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, said:
“Not only is Bristol Green Capital Partnership enabling this fantastic week of inspiring events to happen – we are also proud that Healthy City Week will host the launch of the Urban ID project. This project will take a serious look at the gap between our city’s many strategic plans and aspirations, and the realities of everyday life for many of its citizens. It is very exciting that this innovative project is launching during the second Healthy City Week Bristol.”David Relph, Director of Bristol Health Partners, said:
“There will be robust, challenging debates during Healthy City Week, bringing together policy makers, citizens, community groups and others to focus on how we can make our city healthier and more sustainable. Connecting the grassroots with strategy and policy in the city is what Bristol Health Partners is all about, making sure that the voices of those who are affected by decisions are part of the process. We are pleased to be able to support this at a city-wide, system-wide level through Healthy City Week.”