Directors Adrian Davis and Suzanne Audrey, together with Marcus Grant, reflect on their work to promote the importance of healthy urban environments through the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE HIT).
As a member of the West of England Built Environment Public Health Group, Adrian contributed the transport evidence to the last round of the Joint Spatial Plan and transport strategy consultation. He has also continued with his knowledge translation activities including the ‘essential evidence on a page’ linking health with transport policies and practice. These popular resource sheets are held on the Travel West website.
Adrian Davis and Marcus Grant were both commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Europe to provide reviews of the impact of transport and spatial planning respectively on older people’s mobility needs.
Suzanne continued as a founder member of the Bristol Walking Alliance which campaigns for a walking environment that is welcoming, safe, convenient, and inclusive. She was also on the organising group for Bristol Walkfest, the UK’s largest urban walking festival. She was a keynote speaker at the TravelWest Business Awards ceremony at St George’s Bristol, where 23 businesses were presented with awards for their efforts in supporting and promoting sustainable transport.
SHINE was well represented at three events during Healthy City Week Bristol during October 2016. Marcus Grant facilitated a debate at The Architecture Centre on ‘Developing Healthy Neighbourhoods: Build-in Health or Build More Hospitals’. Speakers considered:
- whether the market deliver the kind of places that we know support healthy lifestyles
- can we splice together health and development economics to reduce the financial and social burden arising from avoidable disease
- might ‘building in health’ even save the NHS?
Also during Healthy City Week, Adrian Davis spoke about whether our transport system should be considered a public health issue at a panel debate hosted by Sustrans. The other panellists were Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Mike Harris, James Durie and Zoe Banks-Gross. Questions from the audience were chaired by Martin Booth, editor of Bristol 24/7. Meanwhile, Suzanne Audrey co-ordinated a walkable neighbourhoods event which gave Neighbourhood Partnerships and local community groups the opportunity to consider ways to support and improve the pedestrian environment in Bristol.
SHINE hosted a further public engagement event in November 2016, called ‘Shared use routes for people who walk or cycle: addressing the challenges’. This lively event tackled the potential conflict where routes are shared by people who walk and people who cycle. Suzanne highlighted some of the key issues. Jon Usher, Sustrans Head of Partnerships for the South of England, presented a short film of his cycle journey along part of the Bristol to Bath shared pathway. Philip Wright, Bristol City Council Sustainable Transport Project Manager, presented findings from a consultation about the draft policy on shared use routes.
Bristol City Council is an important member of Bristol Health Partners and Sally Hogg, Consultant in Public Health, represents Bristol’s Public Health team as the third SHINE Director. SHINE used some of its funds to enable Jess Read, an engineer with an interest in city design and active transport, to be embedded in Bristol City Council Transport Department. Her role, supervised by Adrian and Suzanne, was to add capacity to Bristol City Council in being able to give greater focus to the walking strategy and actions needed. This has been a positive working relationship and several key action points are under consideration for inclusion in the new Bristol Transport Plan.