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Planning for healthy lifestyles

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 10:00AM - 4:30PM
The Eden Project, Par PL24 2SG, UK
RTPI South West

With a renewed emphasis on the role of planning in delivering health and well-being this seminar will examine how we plan for and deliver opportunities for sport and recreation and promote active lifestyles. The session will look at the opportunities for and challenges of joint provision for tourists and residents drawing on best practice from across the South West

Speakers include:

How to enable Healthy Placemaking? Overcoming barriers and learning from best practices.
Aude Bicquelet, RTPI Deputy Head of Policy & Research, Research

Recent studies involving planning practitioners across different sectors have identified a number of important barriers to creating healthy places such as, for instance – lack of funding, different requirements or expectations from developers, conflicting policy priorities and a lack of knowledge and skills needed for the creation and delivery of healthy places.
However, although the barriers to building places where healthy activities and experiences are integral to people’s everyday’s lives are well-known, very few studies have actually focused on solutions and looked at how these barriers can be overcome to enable the design of healthy urban and rural environments.
In this study, we explore the local, national and international policies and practices that enable healthy placemaking. With a particular focus on tackling and accommodating mental health related issues, we have just launched a call for evidence to identify best practices in the design and development of healthy places.
The aims here are twofold;
(a) to produce a set of practice notes describing the key skills and delivery strategies necessary to implement the values and principles of healthy placemaking, and
(b) to create a centralised repository of evidence where practitioners can find out local issues and needs, case studies and best practices, recommendations and lessons learnt from other projects to use in their own work. 

Managing Public Health – prioritising prevention through changing lifestyles
Kirsty Hill, Public Health Specialist at Devon County Council

1.  An overview of the existing and emerging health trends within the population associated with increasingly sedentary lifestyles, diet and the impact of social media on physical and mental health.

2. An understanding of the key priorities on the public health agenda (e.g. NHS Long Term Plan) and the role of health and wellbeing boards.

3. Examples of the work which is being undertaken to promote more active lifestyles across the age ranges.  Clearly the audience would be most interested to understand the way in which the physical environment can be shaped to encourage walking and cycling, access to good quality food, social interaction etc. 

4 Reflections on opportunities for joint working with planners on pursuing the active lifestyle agenda.  This might highlight some of the lessons which can be drawn from the Cranbrook project.

Wellbeing – a useful concept for planners?
Roger Higman, Director, Network of Wellbeing

The term ‘wellbeing’ is increasingly found in policy documents and the literature and could beargued to be suuplementing ‘sustainability’ as a key focus for society.  In this session Roger will try to unbundle what we mean by ‘wellbeing’ and explore the value of the concept in dealing with the built and natural environment.  Drawing on the work of the Network of Wellbeing he will provide examples of the actions being taken by communities to deliver wellbeing and point to ways in which professionals can use the concept of wellbeing to deliver societal benefits.

The role of green infrastructure in promoting active lifestyles: learning from Plymouth
Kat Deeney, Plymouth City Council  

Green infrastructure plays an important element in Plymouth City Council’s plans for growth. Working with a wide range of partners the City Council has developed a delivery plan which seeks to capitalise on the city’s greenspaces to deliver a range of benefits for the natural environment and citizens.  This includes promoting local food, active lifestyles and sustainable movement.  In this session Kat will reflect on the learning points from the process of developing the delivery plan which has provided the platform for the city’s Future Parks programme and Green Minds research project which aims to re-wild urban parks, gardens and verges, introduce a new system of working with partners and crucially, encourage more people from all walks to life to enjoy the health benefits that our green spaces provide.


Promoting active lifestyles across the diverse communities of Birmingham
Karen Creavin, Chief Executive of The Active Wellbeing Society

The work of the Active Wellbeing Society has been credited with transforming Birmingham City Council’s approach to management and use of its green and public spaces particularly in communities where change needs to take place the most, where inequalities are at their highest. AWS work innovatively with organisations, institutions, communities and individuals to contribute to a civic society where people have the autonomy, capacity, resources and skills to become the architects of their own destiny, creating and sustaining happy, healthy communities. AWS’s focus is on delivering the necessary ‘social knitting’ (the connecting infrastructure within communities), using physical/social activities, that bring about sustainable societal change on a social, environmental and economic level.

Sport England – Role of planning for sport and activity through Active Environments & Active Design
Gary Parsons, Planning Manager at Sport England

As the national body responsible for promoting sport, Sport England have a key role to play in supporting and increasing participation and excellence in facility planning for community sport. In this session the focus will be on the role which the planning system plays in planning for sport and physical activity through Active Environments and Active Design.  What role can planning play?  Where are the examples of best practice and what can we learn from them?

A sporting chance for health?
Jacqueline Bennett MRTPI, Director, belap – Bennett Leisure and Planning Ltd

Sport and recreation can greatly enhance people’s physical and mental health.   Issues around sports facility provision frequently arise at Local Plan and CIL examinations, but the specialist field of planning for sport seems to have fallen off the radar for many planners.   If sport really is being left on the sidelines in planning for health, how might it be brought back into play? In this session Jacky will draw on her extensive experience of working with local authorities faced with the challenges of delivering against the background of resource cuts to highlight the issues which need to be addressed to deliver the health benefits of sport and recreation.

South West Coast path –a regional resource for wealth and health
Julian Gray, Director, South West Coast Path Association   

Activity tourism is a growing market with long distance footpaths and cycleways increasingly featuring as a part of successful tourism destinations.  The South West Coast Path as the UK longest waymarked route plays an important role in the tourist economy of the region and is a key piece of green infrastructure.   In this session Julian will share the findings of research into the value and use of the route both for tourists and residents and highlight the challenges faced in planning, managing and promoting facilities which serve a range of stakeholders.

Healthy Placemaking Research – Call for evidence

RTPI are carrying out research to explore the policies and practices that enable healthy placemaking with a focus on tackling and accommodating mental health-related issues. We are calling for evidence (case studies and people who are willing to be interviewed). Find out more and get involved at. The deadline for involvement is 1 November 2019.

How to book
Follow the online booking links below - you can pay online or request an invoice. We ask that you try to complete the purchase order number field at point of booking or forward soon after.

For multiple bookings accross the 2019 programme, you may download the group booking form and email to

Download the full 2019 programme.

Exhibitor Opportunities
We now welcome exhibitors to showcase their firm, recent developments and to further engage with RTPI Members and professionals in planning. Please contact for further information.

0207 929 8190