Creating Healthier, Smarter Places

Learning from European cities

Authored by: Nicholas Falk

The Routledge Handbook Of Planning For Health And Well-Being

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138023307
eBook ISBN: 9781315728261
Adobe ISBN: 9781317542407


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Despite periodic reports on urban malaise, gross health inequalities and climate change threats, local authorities complain they lack the powers and resources needed to change direction (Parkinson et al. 2006). Governments of different political colours have increasingly bought into ‘free market’ principles, and prefer to leave development decisions to the property markets. In the UK planning has become largely reactive in the last few decades. At the same time financial institutions have become ever more centralised and short term in their outlooks. One direct result in the UK is the unacceptably low rate of house building, at the same time as housing has become unaffordable for most people (Falk 2014). Another, experienced across the world, is rising inequalities, and reduced well-being as cities become more polarised (Wilkinson and Pickett 2010).

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