Delivering Healthy Communities

Designing for Health

As a Determinant of Health, the quality of the environment has an impact upon the health of individuals and communities. Access to appropriately designed urban realm with its spaces, parks and green infrastructure has been shown by research to benefit Physical Health, Mental Well-being and Social Cohesion, to address health related Environmental Risk Factors (including Noise and Pollution) and mitigate health impacts caused by climate change (including Flooding, UV, Carbon Capture and Heat Island Effect). A health promoting environment is an essential precursor to creating healthy sustainable communities, and encouraging healthy lifestyles choices.

Addressing health inequalities requires the creation of a health promoting urban realm. Poor environmental conditions and a lack of access to green space have been linked to obesity, non-communicable diseases (Diabetes, CHD, and some cancers), to stress, anxiety, depression and mental illness. A lack of social contact leads to isolation and depression. It is said that due to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, children for the first time in history may die five years younger than their parents. NIKE

The aspiration for health promoting urban environments are enshrined in international, national and local policy and guidance. How then do we deliver this “on-the-ground”.

Drawing from Primary Research and bringing together expertise and experience in Landscape Architecture and Public Health, Tisdall Associates are well placed to deliver health promoting spaces and places, alongside the creation of attractive and sustainable environments. Research has shown that the enhancement of spaces for health has direct benefit to a community well beyond the immediate boundaries of that space. Creating healthy places and spaces can have a positive influence on physical health by encouraging physical activity, upon mental wellbeing through stress reduction and emotional restoration, enhancing social capital and community cohesion, improving longevity and reducing morbidity. Additional benefits have been associated with reduction in crime and incivility, as well as being linked to increased economic benefit.

In delivering healthy places, landscape strategies and design recommendations are delivered. These are built upon evidence based research, a knowledge of local demographics and population health profile, awareness of health related policy and aspirations by local government, Health bodies and community organisations, and practical landscape experience gained over many years working with a wide range of Clients and projects. Landscape Health Assessment has been developed by Tisdall Associates to address the following opportunities and provide the following services:


  • To undertake Health Impact Assessments within the context of Environmental Impact Assessments or as a document in its own right, submitted in support of a planning application.
  • To guide the design of health promoting urban places and spaces
  • To develop Landscape Strategies and Masterplans for existing urban areas, parks and spaces which address each of the key health criteria required to promote physical health, mental wellbeing and social cohesion.
  • To develop Landscape Strategies and Masterplans for New Developments, which can deliver a health promoting environment for residents and the wider community; offering a clear marketing advantage against other less healthy developments.
  • To assess the health status of existing Parks, Spaces and urban areas to identify opportunities for cost effective interventions to remove barriers to health and deliver longer term health benefits
  • To undertake Public Consultation and workshops including liaison with Stakeholders, Planners, Public Health Professionals, Developers and the Public.
  • To offer CPD training sessions and workshops to develop understanding of Health, Planning and Landscape Design.

Please contact Richard Tisdall at Tisdall Associates to discuss how we can work with you to help you deliver your particular health related projects and aspirations.