Supporting the many initiatives that are helping to make Bristol a child friendly city is an important cross-cutting action to support healthier urban living for everyone. It is also an area of focus for our Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE HIT).
Our SHINE team have been working with its partners across Bristol to build on the city’s more ‘joined up’ approach to healthier urban development and help support and promote health through supporting better opportunities for outdoor play and active travel.
The latest issue of Cities & Health, an international Routledge journal is a special edition dedicated to ‘child friendly cities’. Several of the guest editors and the SHINE team were at its launch at the recent European Child Friendly Cities conference held at Bristol City Hall.
Bristol Health Partners is a network partner of Cities & Health, which was founded by Marcus Grant, a member of the SHINE HIT leadership team.
Marcus is a health and spatial planning specialist and an expert advisor to the World Health Organisation and UN-Habitat for healthy urban development.
"It is fitting to have the journal's very first special issue launched in Bristol. The journal, forged through collaborative working with Bristol City Council across multiple healthy city themes and supported by Bristol Health Partners, provides an international dimension to our HIT's work," said Marcus.
Among a wide range of empirical articles, commentaries and think-pieces, the special issue included the first case study to be published in an academic journal about Playing Out, a grass roots movement started by two Bristol mothers who wanted to create safe spaces for their children to play freely outside their homes.
More and more residential roads are being closed off to give children the chance to get outside and play as Playing Out has taken off across the UK. It has even gained traction on an international scale with initiatives started in Canada, Taiwan and New Zealand.
This amazing work is currently being evaluated by members of the SHINE HIT, Angie Page and Ashley Cooper, who are using combined global positioning system (GPS) and activity monitoring to measure the impact of the movement.