SALUS Blog: Healthy City Design International Conference – Spine 16-17th October 

Liverpool hosted the SALUS Healthy City Design International Conference, a 2 day event to share and stimulate new research, innovative practice and progressive policy ideas on how to design economically and ecologically sustainable cities that enhance citizen health and wellbeing. Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham gave the opening plenary alongside Sir Michael Marmot and Dr Natalie Roebbell (WHO). 

CDC Director, Gary Leeming gave an overview of our work as part of a wider session on the continuing story of public health innovation in Liverpool led by Professor Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool City Council and Professor Sally Sheard, Executive Dean of the Institute of Population Health. 

The CDC presentation focused on the importance of demonstrating trust with health and social care records and how the CDC is delivering a major programme of public engagement across the city to help residents understand what is happening with their data.  Round’Ere, Community Conversations and the Civic Data Talks series provide a variety of ways for residents to engage with the CDC and help to provide an open, collaborative and cooperative approach to understanding data and algorithms. 

Gary was joined by Professor Ben Barr who gave an overview of community wealth building in the Preston Model and how this has had a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing and Professor Sarah Rodgers who leads the Groundswell project which aims to create a community and data led system of transformation of how to plan, create, maintain and promote use of the network of urban green and blue spaces which will make a significant contribution to reducing the levels of and inequalities in non-communicable diseases. 

Ellie and Em attended the first day of the conference and joined additional sessions on a lifecourse approach to placemaking which focused on three case studies across childhood, adolescence and later life; The campaign for healthy homes which explored the pitfalls of permitted development and how by adopting new design criteria such as Home Quality Mark will provide better homes for all. 

This conference highlighted how civic infrastructure, including urban design contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents and gave food for thought as to new projects and data sets the CDC could explore in 2024 and beyond.  We are extremely grateful for the organisers, SLAUS for including the CDC in the programme and excited about the new connections we made across Liverpool, the UK and globally.