Landscape Institute to launch position statement on benefits of investing in landscape for public heath

The Landscape Institute is to launch a position statement aimed at public health professionals and policy makers which draws attention to the cost effectiveness of investing in landscape in ways that can influence public health.

'Public Health and Landscape - Creating healthy places', quotes a 2012 study by the Canadian Public Health Association which shows that it is 27 times more expensive to achieve a given reduction in cardiovascular mortality through clinical interventions than through public health measures.

The statement sets out the five principles of healthy places. They are:

  • Healthy places improve air, water and soil quality, incorporating measures that help us adapt to, and where possible mitigate, climate change
  • Healthy places help overcome health inequalities and can promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Healthy places make people feel comfortable and at ease, increasing social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour, isolation and stress
  • Healthy places optimise opportunities for working, learning and development
  • Healthy places are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions

The document spells out in detail what each of those principles means and how to address them, and then uses a number of case studies to illustrate each principle.

Landscape Institute president Sue Illman will chair a launch event on 12 November at which speakers will include . Speakers will include Shadow Minister for Public Health, Luciana Berger MP and Dr Val Kirby, landscape architect and Chair of the Landscape Institute’s Public Health Working Group.

Said Kirby said, 'Ask any landscape architect whether there is a positive link between landscape and people's health and wellbeing and they will say "of course there is". But public health professionals and planners need convincing. So we are backing up our enthusiasm with evidence, and with a commitment to working with other professionals, to make a real difference in this critically important area of public policy.'

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