Twitter +44 28 9032 8811

Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Healthy Places Evidence


Where we live, and the conditions in which we live, has a significant impact on our health and well-being. Access to high quality housing in safe neighbourhoods, green spaces, strong communities and good transport systems all contribute to positive health and well-being. In an urban environment, spatial planning and good urban design can help improve health outcomes in significant ways, including:

  • reducing exposure to hazards through controlling traffic, pollution and noise;
  • supporting mental and emotional well-being by creating liveable environments that encourage social contact and cohesion
  • improving access to jobs, education and services by promoting mixed use neighbourhoods
  • encouraging physical activity by strengthening connectivity on foot and bike and safeguarding green space

1. Healthy urban environments can also help tackle place inequalities in health

2. Overall, there is a link between the built environment, health inequalities and health outcomes. The rise in diseases associated with inactive lifestyles, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity and respiratory problems are strongly linked to where and how we live. Differential access to good housing, employment, education and training, open space and affordable, nutritious food is a key element of health inequalities between areas and population groups. People from the most disadvantaged groups are more likely to be subject to an ‘obesogenic’ environment which discourages walking and cycling, perceiving their neighbourhoods to be busier with traffic, less attractive, and less supportive of walking.

3. They also often disproportionately bear the impacts of car-dominated urban planning practice.

    Key References