As more cities are built and existing cities and their populations become larger and older, they will become more vulnerable to climate change, infrastructure failure, pollution, overcrowding, and the associated health problems. The challenge for future cities is to gain all the benefits that urban environments offer while reducing and managing potential health and safety problems. For successful cities of the future, one of the major current gaps in knowledge relates to understanding the factors that impact communities in terms of health and well being. Other attempts have been made to promote the development of healthy cities, and indeed the World Health Organisation has dedicated a programme to this very heading. But there is currently no way of benchmarking, measuring and comparing healthy cities. This presentation will report on progress with a BRE Trust funded research project that sets out to develop a Healthy Cities Index, which will measure cities against 8 indicators of environmental health and produce an overall score on a scale of 1-100 (with 1 being the worst and 100 being the best). The 8 indicators are: housing and neighbourhood; infrastructure; transport; open space/access to leisure; noise; air quality; safety/security; educational facilities; access to nutrition and clean water; and access to medical support. The housing indicator has been created using existing data sources and mapped against English cities, to prove the concept. The remaining indicators are in the process of being developed for England, before getting adapted to other world cities.


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  • Received: 22 April 2015
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