An urban obstacle course, a nursery where children run their own farm and free bikes for residents are three ideas that form part of Citiemode’s winning entry for a healthy living challenge laid down by NHS England.
The Healthy New Towns programme looks at how health and wellbeing could be “designed-in” to be at the heart of urban design and planning. The aim is to reduce pressure on the NHS by rethinking our lifestyles and the way health services are delivered.
The competition focused on Halton in Cheshire, which is one of ten sites across England that were chosen by the NHS to implement bold and innovative urban projects. Halton is about to embark on a new masterplan which could realise some of Citiesmode’s plan, called “Halton Connected”.
The judges, who came from NHS England, the local clinical commissioning group, Halton Borough Council and Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust, selected Citiesmode’s bid out of 34 shortlisted entries across the world.
The plan for Halton Connected included:
- An urban obstacle course connecting public gym equipment and sprinting tracks marked out on safe pavements.
- A nursery farm for children to learn about where food comes from and pick up healthier eating habits.
- Developers providing house buyers and tenants with free bikes in order to cut car use and promote cycling.
- Universal wifi so residents can use new technology to health services from home, such as online GP consultations which NHS England is backing to the tune of £45m.
- Converting a car park into a new community square with outdoor cinema, offering more chances to socialise, boost Halton’s sense of community and improve mental health.
- Designs for multigenerational living that bring care for the elderly and children under one roof.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “If there’s to be a much needed wave of housebuilding across England, let’s “design-in” health from the start. These practical designs for Halton point the way, uniting young and old in thinking through the sort of communities we want for the future.”
For more information please contact Philip Liu (Project Lead) or one of the team here.