Co-Director of the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments HIT (SHINE), Dr Adrian Davis, reflects on their progress over the past 12 months.
The original aims of SHINE in 2012 were to promote healthier neighbourhoods and enable people to ‘stay well’ for as long as possible. The HIT aimed to achieve this by integrating health, well-being and social inclusion with urban development, transport and planning, to reduce health risks and promote healthier lifestyles.
In fulfilling such aims, Dr Suzanne Audrey, a Co-Director, remains active as a founder and supporter of the Bristol Walking Alliance, while I have been a member of both the Mayoral Air Pollution Working Group and the Mayoral Congestion Task Group.
One of SHINE’s Co-Directors, Sally Hogg, as a Consultant in the Public Health Team, has a focus on ‘Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Place’ and this is supported by my work embedded within the Transport Team part-time. A recurring contribution of SHINE is undertaking work to directly support the City Council. In 2017 that was utilising the skills of a design engineer to support the refresh of the walking strategy. Next year will see the drafting of materials to support and promote Safe Routes to Schools as a direct outcome of discussions with Cabinet Member for Transport, Mhairi Threlfall.
Through its membership of the West of England Public Health Built Environment Group, SHINE contributed to a plethora of consultations in 2017: the West of England Joint Spatial Plan, Joint Transport Study, the Bristol Transport Strategy, and a City Centre Movement Framework.
Healthy City Week in October 2017 enabled me and a public health academic colleague to present on equity and road safety, with a lively debate following. In this vein, I have continued to work to promote the Safe Systems Road Safety Plan for Bristol which will hopefully be taken forward as part of the One City Plan from 2018 – with a target to free the city of road traffic deaths and life-changing injuries by reducing road danger. 20mph speed limits remain a key element, vindicated by the UWE evaluation of road casualties since the limits were implemented from 2012.
SHINE also remains committed to working with other HITs and we are always interested in collaborations and developing funding bids. During this year we will also broaden the membership of our leadership team to strengthen further our range of skill-sets. So, 2018-19 is already frenetic as we continue to make a difference, seeking further collaborations, partnerships, and influence.