Morning, Thursday, 12th November 2020
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine the priorities for developing healthy communities in England.
It is bringing together policymakers with stakeholders in local authorities, public health and the housing and infrastructure sectors.
The discussion takes place as the Government seeks to ensure the health and safety of communities as areas continue to be impacted by COVID-19 - and in the context of a long-term policy drive to improve the linkages between the built environment and health.
It will be an opportunity for key stakeholder and policymakers to consider where next for developing healthy communities, and what can be learned from the way that opportunities and challenges presented through the response to COVID-19 have been addressed.
So we expect discussion on strategies for building on positive developments in place-based health that have emerged amidst the tragic consequences of the pandemic for individuals and communities across the UK, looking at:
- future uses of the track and trace technology to maintain health within the community, with the national rollout of the Government’s tracing app following the trial on the Isle of Wight,
- maintaining improvements in air quality and general health associated with improved air and noise quality achieved as a result of the lockdown,
- encouraging cycling into work and supporting wider active travel - with the Transport Secretary’s recent announcement of a £2bn package for cycling and walking,
- improving accessibility to public transport and ensuring procedures are in place for those using public transport to do so safely,
- how the recent trend of working from home might translate to more flexible working as a norm, and what it could mean for healthier homes, offices and high streets going forward, and
- meeting growth in demand for green spaces prompted by the lockdown and increasing their effectiveness in supporting exercise and healthy habits once the lockdown is gradually lifted.
Further areas for discussion include the way forward for:
- Promoting health in planning, design and improving the quality of homes.
- Implementing the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the provision of funding, support and guidance that will be needed.
- Learning from the healthy new towns demonstrator projects and what can be taken forward from these projects both in terms of partnership working and improving public health.
- Implementing strategies for creating more healthy communities, including:
- identification of local health and wellbeing needs,
- developing innovative approaches to local solutions,
- what is needed from planning and design to support strategies, and
- developing partnerships between business, research centres, investors, and local government and communities.
- Effective ways of promoting and incentivising health and wellbeing into development, and how developers respond to changes in consumer aspirations for housing and development.
- Approaches to community-based public health, taking a whole system approach and ways of scaling up good practice for a healthy local environment.
- The future of planning powers and their use, in the areas of:
- the distribution and siting of fast food outlets and developing healthy high streets more widely, and
- high fat, sugar and salt product advertising.
- Improving health and wellbeing through the built environment
- Case studies from the Healthy New Towns programme demonstrator sites:
- Supporting partnership working across sectors, and
- Promoting prevention and improving public health.
- Promoting healthy communities during the COVID-19 pandemic - managing lockdown and ensuring people are able to access vital services
- Planning and designing healthy places - accessibility, developing standards, adapting existing buildings, and supporting those in lower quality housing
- Approaches to creating healthy local food environments, supporting affected businesses, and engaging with communities and households
- Supporting local delivery and local providers - funding, identifying at risk groups and those with underlying conditions, and integrating services across housing, health and care; and
- The future for developing healthy places, reacting to changing use patterns and need, and next steps for policy.
Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
It takes place against the backdrop of the unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and with a range of policy developments taking place:
- Recent publication of Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On with its focus on:
- reducing levels of deprivation within communities, and the variation experienced around the country,
- improving air quality and lowering the risks of air pollution in communities,
- tackling unhealthy high streets, and addressing the link between deprived areas and unhealthy built environments,
- encouraging active travel and providing accessible transport and services, and
- alleviating poor quality housing and associated increased health inequalities.
- A number of relevant action plans released as a response to COVID-19 including in the areas of:
- The parliamentary The Health of the Nation: A Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives report - which looks at how to meet the Government’s ambition of five extra years of healthy life;
- The revised National Planning Policy Framework, arguing that planning policies and decisions should promote healthy and inclusive places;
- NHS England’s Putting Health into Place, which explored opportunities and learning from NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme;
- Commitments within the NHS Long Term Plan to develop a Healthy New Towns Quality Standard incentivising health and wellbeing promotion; and
- Measures within the Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s green paper including updating buildings to prevent ill-health, as well as steps for improving air quality.
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.
This looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from: MHCLG, the Department for Health and Social Care; BEIS, the Cabinet Office and the National Audit Office.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference