LI President Noel Farrer’s response to NHS England announcement on Heathy New Towns Programme
Noel Farrer, President of the Landscape Institute said:
‘Today’s NHS England announcement on the Healthy New Towns programme is an important development for improving public health. Treating ill health is overstretching the public purse so finding ways of reducing demand on health services through prevention beyond more traditional programmes can only be encouraged.
‘The Landscape Institute has championed the role green infrastructure can play in tackling ill health. We believe significant improvements in health and wellbeing can be achieved by integrating nature into the fabric of our towns and cities. In doing so not only will urban populations be healthier, but a huge number of other benefits will be gained for society, the economy and the environment. Although the programme is a good initiative, it’s just the start and we need to the approach to be extended to those places outside of the programme. A more creative, collaborative approach to the planning, design and management of our towns and cities will result in urban landscapes that are rich, varied and truly multifunctional, offering people the opportunity to choose healthier lifestyles.
‘Most people in the UK live in towns and cities and they need places close to home where their physical and mental health problems can be addressed. The provision of high quality open spaces improve air, water and soil quality. They are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions. They make people feel comfortable and at ease, increasing social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour, isolation and stress.’
For further information please contact Nick McClelland at the Landscape Institute on 020 7685 2658