This week I'm travelling the length of NZ with the NZIA. I and 2 other urban designers - Steve Thorne and Dr Angelique Edmonds - are presenting the 2014 urban design speaker series.
It is interesting to see who comes along. The 3 presentations all come from different perspectives but each reach the same conclusion. Urban design for health and well being is more than just an interesting topic of research , more than a soon-to-be short-lived 'new fangled idea' . Urban design for health and well being offers architects, planners and policy makers an opportunity to contribute to the liveability ratings and functional wellness of a community.
It requires big thinking and a collaborative approach. If we take responsibility for our designs we acknowledge the impact environmental design can make. Community gardens, roof top gardens, parks and pocket green space combine with the built environment to affect mental health, stress and depression. These problems occur within education, social housing and the workplace, in fact wherever there are people who are stressed by their environment. In these situations salutogenic design interventions become cost effective, achievable goals.
We are getting the message out but more people need to join the conversation. We have both a challenge and an opportunity to fundamentally make a difference to the health and well being if our client communities. Care to join us?