Neighbourhood Design

Neighbourhoods are places people dwell in,
work and have a sense of belonging.

The design of a neighbourhood plays a central role in shaping health and wellbeing of residents1. The physical attributes of a neighbourhood environment, particularly the connectivity of streets, land use mix and access to services, can influence physical activity and maximise opportunities for social interactions5.

England’s national planning policy, the National Planning Policy Framework, recognises that well-designed neighbourhoods can ‘play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities’ 6 .

Evidence from this review shows that living in ‘walkable neighbourhoods’ can improve physical and mental wellbeing and reduce risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, disability and depressive symptoms. Reduction in neighbourhood noise level and provision of adequate lighting can prevent the onset of physical disability among older adults.

1 Allen, J.G., MacNaughton, P., Laurent, J.G.C., Flanigan, S.S., Eitland, E.S. and Spengler, J.D., (2015). Green buildings and health. Current envi[1]ronmental health reports, 2(3), pp.250-258.

5 Berrigan, D., Pickle, L.W., & Dill, J., (2010). Associations between street connectivity and active transportation. International Journal of Health Geographics, 9 (1), 20.

6 Department for Communities and Local Government (2017). National Planning Policy Framework

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