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Health and Planning

The links between town planning and the promotion of good health have long been established. Our research programme 2019-2021 has identified health as a priority area. Our work programme will address pressing global health challenges (e.g. air pollution, obesity, and mental health). It will also consider issues around planning successfully for minorities –including women, social groups and an ageing population.

We have a number of research, policy and practice projects underway. For more information contact or

Aude Blog Health PageEnabling Healthy Placemaking

We are carrying out research to explore the local, national and international policies and practices that enable healthy placemaking. We are focusing on tackling and accommodating mental health related issues. We would like to hear from planners about their case studies of good practice.

If you would like to take part in the study please fill in our call to evidence by Monday 20th January 2020.

Our blog looks at the links between town planning and the promotion of good health. You can take a look at a presentation on 'overcoming barriers and learning from best practices' here.


walkingMental health

We have published a new RTPI Learn module on an Introduction to Town Planning for mental health, neurological and spectrum conditions. This online CPD training takes 30 minutes to complete. You need a RTPI Learn account (free) to access the course.


Our blog - Happy at Home introduces the concept that planners should take account  of the impact of the built environment on mental health. We will be continuing this analysis with further research and practice advice in 2020.


Healthy weight environments

We are working with Public Health England on a South West Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) tool. The aim is to provide a blueprint for local authorities to use to develop their own local SPDs designed to support local people to achieve a healthy weight.

Publication is due in September 2019.



We are working on two new research projects that examine the role that town planning can play in creating child friendly environments. A review of child friendly planning policy in the UK; along with a project looks at the access to appropriate play spaces for children and assesses the 'play gap' in various cities.


Planning for playing fields

We are working with Sport England to develop a new RTPI Learn module (free online interactive training). It will use case studies to provide our members with the knowledge and skills they need to help them deliver sound advice on proposals relating to planning fields.

Publication TBC.


apple treeAgeing population

The issues for society of a rapidly ageing population have been well documented. With the publication of new guidance by MHCLG on housing for older and disabled people in June 2019 we will continue to work with our partners across the UK to contribute to the discussion. We will also be jointly publishing practice advice with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) on how to effectively plan for an ageing population.

For more information contact



Our practice advice on Dementia and Town Planning outlines how planners can contribute to creating better environments for people living with dementia was published in 2017. It has been well received, widely referenced and hopefully been used to inform new policy and development.

We are now updating the advice. We want to hear from our members about examples of where they have integrated dementia friendly policies and design successfully into their work.

Publication of the updated advice is due in December 2019.


See our published work on inclusive planning and health.