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27/01/2017

3 point plan: Kim Cooper

Words: Kim Cooper
Three arrows on steps

A planner explains how they would change the English planning system

Kim Cooper
Planner, Arup
Junior vice-chair of RTPI North West, Education & Careers Lead of RTPI North West, Member of RTPI General Assembly

Cities are like ecosystems and if one element isn’t operating properly, the rest of the system suffers. Our built environments are failing the most vulnerable in society and through positive action in planning policy we have the ability to ensure that the planning system works for everyone.  

To quote Jane Jacobs: “Cities are for everyone, only because, and only when, they are created by everyone.”

"The planning profession should be doing more to champion how taking a positive approach to the built environment can improve health outcomes"

Growing evidence suggests that there are direct correlations between the built environment of our towns and cities and the physical and mental health of residents and workers. We should reconsider our collective approach to our built environment as a means of tackling these growing issues in society.  The planning profession should be doing more to understand and champion how taking a positive approach to the built environment can improve health outcomes, reducing the burden placed on the NHS, while ultimately increasing productivity and strengthening our economies.


The three point plan

1. Embed health and well-being within planning policy to positively influence the impact of built environments on an individual’s physical and mental welfare

2. Make the planning system more socially responsive

3. Promote the indirect savings that result from good planning

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