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A Breath of Fresh Air: How Data and Design Can Fight City Pollution

Air pollution has a significant negative impact on public health and is something that affects most of us, every day. In large cities, such as Beijing and London the problems can be more obvious, but mostly it remains an invisible danger. Quantifying the impacts of…

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Is Healthcare Soon to be a Declining Market?

Current projections for global healthcare spending show an increase from $9.21 trillion USD in 2014 to $24.24 by 2040. But is healthcare soon to be a declining market? In a recent article Mark Drane, Studio Principal with IBI Group in the UK, raises some interesting…

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Jographies: Urban Infrastructure to Encourage Running

‘Jographies’ can be defined as the ‘geographical perspective on running’, and extensive research has been conducted into the experiences and spatialities of recreational solo road running. However, with many running groups across the country, can we design and manage our streets, spaces and parks to…

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mental health & wellbeing

Mental Health & Wellbeing in Cities

The days when we could put mental illness in a straightjacket and treat it well out of sight, in an isolated asylum, are thankfully long gone. In the UK, the ‘Care in the Community Programme’  saw people transferred out of institutions in the 80s and…

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Urbanism: A Catalyst for Wellbeing

In what some have defined as the Third Era of Health, we must radically rethink our approach to sustaining our healthcare system. This is particularly acute given that chronic and lifestyle related diseases are on the rise, and healthcare services are struggling to keep up…

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Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing. However, as citizens living in fast-paced urban environments, do we actively take care of our mind as much as we do our body? A recent study showed that the impact of mental health and stress in…

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Art as a Curative Tool

Art, in its many forms, has been an intrinsic part of human culture dating back almost 100,000 years. It embodies a momentary way of life at a given point, often with the capacity to evoke particular emotional responses. When talking about art, it is important…

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live well

Live Well to Reduce Reliance on Health Services

The developed world is experiencing a perfect storm of exponential growth in medical science. We can cure more diseases, but the resulting longevity increase has resulted in spiralling health costs. Free market environments such as the US now spend nearly 20% of GDP on health, yet…

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technology to improve health

Harnessing the Power of Technology to Improve Health

With NHS England rethinking how health can be delivered by launching initiatives such as the Healthy New Towns programme, it is important to recognise the role of digital technology in shaping the future of healthcare. When considering this paradigm shift towards community wellness, it is…

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healthy design

The Many Benefits of Healthy Campus Design

Design quality is something that we recognise when we see it, but how do we value it and are there unseen benefits to certain types of design? In recent years, a light has been shone on the benefits that good design can bring to supporting…

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mental health

Old Problems, New Solutions

Earlier this year, the UK Commission to Review Acute Psychiatric Care for Adults released a report that included insightful health and economic arguments for systemic change in the provision of our services. This set out the need for a more proactive and preventative approach to…

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emotional city thoughts

Read my thoughts?

Until recently, we have all been safe in the knowledge that our thoughts stay in our heads. Well, things have changed, and if you wear a mobile electroencephalograph (EEG), scientists can now access your emotional state. Aspinall, Mavros, Coyne, and Roe (2013), interested in the…

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Harnessing Nature to Heal

The phenomena that is biophilic design, is one of many sensory design tools. An innovative and rapidly growing method of designing the spaces within which we live, work, learn, play and heal, the benefits of biophilia can be harnessed nature to promote wellbeing. Edward Wilson, a Harvard,…

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integrated health centre

Urban Health Centres & Good Neighbours

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the connection between public health and urban planning. This growing connection has led to a number of encouraging steps. However, in many cases, the physical and social connections between hospitals and their surrounding neighbourhoods remain limited. The…

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The Many Benefits of Walkable Cities

Regardless of your main mode(s) of mobility – transit, bike, car or something else – we all walk. It might be a trip across the city, or simply across the parking lot, but at some point every day, nearly every able person is a pedestrian.…

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Elderly in the City

Senior Living in the City

For generations, the default retirement dream has been a slower pace of life in leafy suburbs or genteel villages. ‘Escape to the country’ is part of the British psyche and still top of the list for many retirees, but a dramatically different choice is now…

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Designing a Healthier Office

It’s become clear that there are numerous ways to create a healthier office. Now, Medibank, Australia’s largest private health insurer has built what might be the world’s healthiest office building. Designed on the principles of a health-based working environment, filled with plants, where employees are encouraged…

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The Many Health Benefits of Urban Nature

Doctor’s are becoming more aware of the health benefits of urban nature, some are even prescribing time in green spaces for patients. We’ve written about this before, and now, CityLab has compiled a thorough review of the identified mental and physical health benefits resulting from exposure to urban nature.…

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Towards Healthier Cities

After more than a half century of separation, public health issues have returned to the urbanism discussion. But what is a healthy city? In an illuminating interview with Metropolis Magazine, renowned architect and designer Jan Gehl offers his insight from more than 50 years of studying people…

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When Urban Planning Plays Doctor

Have you thought about how infectious diseases and urban planning are related? A poorly built environment can expose people to toxic pollutants and influences lifestyles that contribute to different health issues. Narrow and overcrowded housing is an ideal space for infectious disease to spread amongst its occupants. While…

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Mapping Melbourne’s Trees

Urban trees have been shown to provide considerable health and financial benefits, but can be difficult to keep alive and help thrive in grueling city environments. In an exciting engagement effort, the City of Melbourne created a digital map of the city’s 70,000+ trees, to educate its…

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