Six Principles for Healthier Placemaking

This simple framework highlights the urgency to rethink urban environments to create healthier places, in order to help people lead healthier lives. It includes an overview of six principles for healthier placemaking; urban planning, walkable communities, neighbourhood building blocks, movement networks, environmental integration and community empowerment.

Date added 13 January 2021
Last updated 13 January 2021

The urgent need to create healthier places has been further underlined following the impact of the coronavirus on the health of local communities.

Fred London, founding partner of the award-winning international placemaking practice JTP, shares his six-step framework for producing places with positive health outcomes.

These six principles are subdivided into two groups; three ‘scales of planning’ and three ‘linking concepts’, which intersect with each other to characterise the ethos of healthy placemaking.

The six principles are as follows;

1. Urban planning

Encouraging sympathetic densification and attractive forms of active travel to rebalance mobility in urban centres.

2. Walkable communities

Creating compact, mixed-use urban structures where the daily needs of locals are met within walking distance, which is surrounded by integrated green space.

3. Neighbourhood building blocks

Reducing the level of planning to smaller-scale built form to establish well-designed neighbourhoods and intimate urban spaces.

4. Movement networks

Redesigning our movement networks away from the car, which brings with it air pollution, road accidents and sedentary lifestyles, in order to embrace more sustainable forms of active travel.

5. Environmental integration

Integrating the natural environment into any plans for development in order to establish a sustainable balance between green space and built form.

6. Community empowerment

Empowering local communities to enhance their immediate environments to improve delivery outcomes and unlock a strong sense of civic pride.