Cities / Healthy Cities
Healthy City Design 2019
Building the healthy city – inciting the healthy choice
By Dan Burden | 29 Nov 2019 | 0
In this session, Dan Burden, with 50 years’ experience designing cities for human and community health, identifies the five healthiest, most sustainable places in the world, called Blue Zones.
In 2017, the world crossed a major threshold, with more than half of the world’s population now living in urban places; in the US, Canada, Australia and much of Europe, urban dwellers already range from 80-90 per cent.
Cities laid out for cars foul our air, water, deplete land resources, breed crime, isolate us, and produce major losses in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Today, a third of city surfaces are blackened with asphalt, producing massive heat sinks, raising urban air temperatures, impacting water quality, and pumping tons of carbon dioxide into the air daily. Urban cities must return to people-centric, green, habitable, natural placemaking mixing bowls that induce human health. We must stop the madness of designing our cities for cars, the least efficient form of transport and the most land consumptive – but how?
In this session, Dan Burden, with 50 years’ experience designing cities for human and community health, identifies the five healthiest, most sustainable places in the world, called Blue Zones. He then identifies through science those urban design elements proven to induce health and happiness, providing greater human interaction and active lifestyles. Ten years ago, Blue Zones came up with a formula to make the healthy choice the easy choice; to get diverse people, populations, governments, non-governmental units, health agencies, and other interests to work together to reach common ground. Dan will showcase the outcomes achieved by this organisation during ten years of well-principled, designed, tested, refined and monitored work to induce healthy outcomes for downtowns, neighbourhoods, cities and districts in 50 US cities, ranging from 3000 to 2 million in population.
Strategies feature: active transportation; compact land form; housing diversity; urban greening; connectivity; mixed land use; age-friendly design; placemaking; activity centres; parks and green spaces; smart growth; and healthy urban planning.
Most importantly, poor city design must be overcome with a sense of urgency and through multidisciplinary collaboration. This can only happen when a new united approach is applied to city-making. This session provides hope, inspiration and a compass bearing for a healthy, sustainable future.