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Our mental health and wellbeing work

In the UK and Ireland, the rates of mental health illness are high. It is estimated that around one in four people will experience a mental health condition. Where someone lives can have an impact on their mental health. The quality of the wider built environment is also a determining factor for mental health, with noise, pollution levels, quality of green space, access to services and even ‘beauty’ all playing a part. Therefore, town planning decisions can and do have an impact on mental health.

Our mental health and town planning practice note gives advice on how planners can work within the current UK planning systems and with other professionals to take account of mental health when making changes to the built environment.

RTPI Planning Practice Officer Sarah Lewis MRTPI, who wrote the practice note, has also written a blog on the link between town planning and mental health. Sarah's blog notes the strong link between housing quality and the wider built environment on mental health and the key role planning needs to play to make a difference.

James McGowan, winner of the RTPI Practitioner Research Fund in 2021, has also written a great blog on the subject, including looking at how planning can place mental health at the forefront of decision making. 

We've also got a couple of webinar recordings worth a watch including a session recorded by RTPI North West on planning for health communities, and session on wellbeing, health and inclusive planning from RTPI North East.