TRACK 6

congress team 
Elisabeth Belpaire (Belgium/ Switzerland) & Rajendra Kumar (India)


Environmental health, physical and mental health, healthy neighbourhoods and social well-being are on the agenda of the "healthy and inclusive city". The urban built environment affect our health and well-being on a daily basis, often with lifelong effects starting in early life. Integrating the elements of clean air, clean water, noise, accessible public health services, safety (factual and perceived), healthy bodies and minds, belonging and social connections into how we design and manage our cities and neighbourhoods. Fostering people-centered approaches, enabling people to survive and thrive, inclusion and reduced inequity, combatting critical health issues such as loneliness and NCDs, and managing cultural diversity. Special attention for the design of inclusive public spaces and commons – catering for the needs and dreams of both (very young) children, women, seniors and differently-abled members of the community.  Considering too the inclusion, health and well-being of caregivers, youth, slum and migrant populations as they too often remain 'invisible' and fall through the cracks of city planning and management.

Over 1,4 million people are added to cities every week; 90% of urban growth happening in low- and middle-income countries. Successfully responding to the challenges of health and well-being, inequity and migration demand bold changes and forward thinking and action within and beyond urban planning. The 2020s are a crucial decade for enabling healthy people and a healthy planet. This is an opportunity for re-thinking the paradigms of urban planning.  

Track 6 aims to bring deeper understanding, latest thinking and inspire solution options on how urban health and inclusion are impacted and can be improved. Spanning urban micro-design, street design, neighbourhood approaches, city-wide strategies and monitors, land-use and national urban policies. Thereby reducing existing inequities within cities. We encourage inter-disciplinary dialogue and critical reflection between urban planners and other stakeholders in the health, social and development sectors; between practitioners, researchers, community leaders and decision makers. 

We want to draw-out the evidence-based strategies, innovative practices and new theoretical approaches to different spatial, cultural and socio-economic contexts around creating healthy and inclusive urban environments. What are the important lessons we have already learnt?  The data, impact and outcome measurement, tools and approaches, norms and standards needed?  What are promising innovations to put at scale?

Papers, presentations and interactive debate sessions within this track can cover: 

  • Designing Public Space (systems) for healthy and active lifestyles
  • Formal and informal urban environments and public space enabling healthy (early) childhood, youth to thrive and fostering wellbeing for caregivers 
  • Public health, including non-communicable diseases, and its correlation to Urban Design and Planning
  • Understanding the role of sport and entertainment in urban planning
  • Healthy food environments 
  • Urban nature and nature connections for physical health and mental wellbeing
  • Ensuring health and well-being equitable access in cities across gender, age, abilities and income 
  • Tools, data and approaches around healthy and inclusive neighbourhoods, with inclusion of minorities, migrants, young women and girls, elderly, and groups with different needs
  • Deepening interdisciplinary knowledge, applying scientific research to practice for healthy environments, 'measure what matters', measuring health outcomes 
  • Emerging risks, threats and assets to healthy inclusive cities with mitigating measures and response option such as health security, pandemics