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Are cities bad for our health?

Manchester -263210


High stress levels, air pollution, overcrowding, noise - just a few of the many negative connotations people often assume is part and parcel of a city lifestyle, and to a certain degree, they aren't entirely false! Our cities have failed us in many ways, and they don't always promote a healthy living environment for its populations. However, I, and most likely many of you reading this do not believe that city living automatically equates to a poor quality of life.


This year's Young Planners' Conference focuses on this important issue, and what I believe is a long overdue opportunity for such issues to be brought to the forefront among young planning professionals. The conference seeks to shed some light on how we as young planners can plan for health and well-being through two days of engaging speakers, panel-led discussions and study tours across both Manchester and Liverpool.


During my involvement in helping to plan this year's conference, it has become increasingly apparent to me the diverse and complex range of factors that contribute to the health of cities. It may seem far-fetched to think that the work you do as a planner has a direct impact on the population's health and well-being, however, the built environment in which people live and work can greatly influence their choices, good or bad. Planners can really make a difference!


One of the main questions we need to ask ourselves is, are we as planners aware that we have a role to play in planning for health? And do we know the level of importance we hold in such a role? In my opinion, not enough of us actively take ownership of this responsibility.


Many of our cities are in a bad state, and people's health is negatively affected because of it. The 2017 Young Planners' Conference seeks to identify the causes of this, openly discuss the current issues and most importantly give you the right tools to administer the well-being of the public and plan for a healthy, happy city. 


This as an excellent opportunity to meet with your peers and delve further into this year's theme - Healthy, Happy Places and People: Planning for Well-being. We look forward to welcoming you to the truly diverse and culturally rich city of Manchester from the 3-4 November 2017.


This year's programme will be released this Tuesday 30 May when ticket sales will open. There are a limited amount of early bird tickets available at the discounted rate, to book please visit


Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the conference @NWYoungPlanners #YPConf2017


Fola Kalesanwo,

The North West Young Planners Committee

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