Health and wellbeing by design

A young man is in the middle of a residential street. He looks like he is jumping or dancing.We shape our building and thereon, they shape us is an oft quoted Churchill saying. I wonder if he knew how much they also shape our health and well-being. Koen Steemers’ article on this topic outlines the definition of wellbeing and health and the implications for architecture. He also provides “rules of thumb” for design based on extensive research. Steemers acknowledges there is no one-size-fits all for healthy design. So the aim is to optimise every aspect wherever possible. It is interesting to note that he puts accessible housing into the list as a must. Architecture for well-being and health is a very comprehensive and readable guide for the built environment professions. 

Sydney Ideas Festival also covered this topic, Room for improvement:cities housing and health

“Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on health …” World Health Organization: The determinants of health.


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