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Build-in health or build more hospitals event success

9 March 2017

A range of people with a stake or an interest in city development came together at the Architecture Centre in the centre of Bristol for an event held as part of Bristol Healthy City Week. The event, called ‘Developing Healthy Neighbourhoods: Build-in health or build more hospitals’, brought together 63 people on 18 October 2016 to discuss a great health paradox that plagues cities all over the world, including Bristol.

The problem presents itself as a continual rise in pressure on health services simultaneously to research uncovering the uncomfortable truth that we build the risk factors for illness into our modern towns and cities. And yet, in this paradoxical situation, the health of individuals and communities is not put as top priority when we build new places or regenerate old ones.

Worse still, although there are countless checklists, guidelines, fine words, and even emerging international standards, ‘building-in’ health is:

  • not a priority in UK health policy
  • rarely taught to those who develop our built environments
  • not part of the value proposition for most volume house builders
  • a twilight consideration in mainstream public health

This event sought to test if Bristol had stakeholders who were enthusiastic and capable to develop an innovative response to development that could be piloted. The answer was a resounding yes.

Introduced by Bristol City Council Cabinet Member for Health Fi Hance, and included provocations from:

  • Helen Pineo, from the Building Research Establishment, who asked:
    ‘Can developers, investors and landowners gain commercial confidence, and profit, through ‘building-in health’?
  • Marcus Grant, working with Bristol Health Partners, asked:
    ‘Can the health service be re-aligned to recognize that local neighbourhoods are the basis of our wellbeing?’

These questions were responded to by six experts working in various fields related to development, health and wellbeing:

  • Justin Harris, IBI Group
  • Paul Mitchell, University of Bristol and NIHR CLAHRC West
  • Mike Roberts, HAB Housing
  • Rob Delius, Stride Treglown
  • Mark Drane, IBI Group
  • David Relph, Bristol Health Partners

The event was hosted by IBI Group in collaboration with Bristol Health Partners SHINE Health Integration Team as part of Healthy City Week.

Download the full report (PDF) to find out what happened at the event.

Watch all the presentations

Build-in health or build more hospitals event success
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