UDG speak to Medical News Today
Living space and health: How urban design affects our well-being
A recent article in Medical News Today discusses how urban design can affect our health and well-being, and how we should learn from the past to consider how urban design and the design of housing must provide resilience to the risk of infectious diseases.
Katja Stille, UDG Chair and Director at Tibbalds, shares her views on the negative impacts of air and noise pollution on a person’s health:
'Living in a car-dependent development will impact negatively on people’s ability to exercise and encourage a sedentary lifestyle that easily leads to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The opportunity to be physically active throughout one’s day-to-day life, such as active transport - walking and cycling - is important to avoid obesity.'
Robert Huxford, UDG Director, highlights how the relationship between health and urban or housing design have a long history.
'It’s often forgotten that the links between housing and urban design and health go back hundreds of years, such as the 19th-century public health movement, including the Health of Towns Association of the 1840s, or the Model Byelaws issued in the 1870s, that governed urban development in England for the next 50 years.
They focused on lighting, ventilation, overcrowding, damp, and sanitation. They specified the minimum width of streets, minimum spaces around buildings, and that habited rooms should have a window at least one-tenth of the floor area. Over 100 years on, developers are bringing forward proposals for windowless flats.'