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Green Space

This Housing LIN Practice Briefing looks at active ageing and the different aspects of the built environment that can promote and sustain it, with examples of good and emerging practice and resources for further information. It is intended for those working in social housing, local government, and the care and support sectors to understand their roles in developing and maintaining a built environment that contributes to active ageing.

To access this resource, please click here:

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here:

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Improving access to green spaces

1. There is significant and growing evidence on the health benefits of access to good quality green spaces. The benefits include better self-rated health; lower body mass index, overweight and obesity levels; improved mental health and wellbeing; increased longevity.
2. There is unequal access to green space across England. People living in the most deprived areas are less likely to live near green spaces and will therefore have fewer opportunities to experience the health benefits of green space compared with people living in less deprived areas.
3. Increasing the use of good quality green space for all social groups is likely to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. It can also bring other benefits such as greater community cohesion and reduced social isolation.
4. Local authorities play a vital role in protecting, maintaining and improving local green spaces and can create new areas of green space to improve access for all communities. Such efforts require joint work across different parts of the local authority and beyond, particularly public health, planning, transport, and parks and leisure.

This evidence review was commissioned by Public Health England and researched, analysed and written by the UCL Institute of Health Equity. These papers show evidence for interventions on social issues that lead to poor health, including ways to deal with health inequalities. You can use them to get practical tips for dealing with these issues. They also show examples from local areas showing interventions that have been used to improve health. The series includes eight evidence reviews and 14 short briefing papers.

The documents can be used by:

  • local authority professionals whose work has implications for health and wellbeing, such as children’s services and planning services
  • local authorities - particularly directors of public health and their teams - to build health and wellbeing strategies and Joint Strategic Needs Assessments
  • public health teams making a case for action on health inequalities
  • health and wellbeing boards making local public health strategies, including those covering service areas with health implications such as Local Plans and Growth Plans

This evidence summary can be accessed by clicking here:

The full list of resources can be viewed on this page:

Planning Health Places provides a snapshot of how local authorities (working with partners) are managing their acquired responsibilities for public health, planning and related disciplines such as housing, transport planning and regeneration in the ‘new world’. It draws on external research and roundtables from eight case study areas to produce both findings and recommendations at local and national levels. This item should be of interest to those involved in the commissioning of and provision of services related to housing, planning, environment/green spaces and associated public health fields.

The report examines how supporting and promoting investment in green space can have far-reaching benefits for the local economy and public health. The aim of the report is to ensure that the economic benefits of green infrastructure to communities across the region is understood by health and local government professionals and to support the communication of these messages to organisations including those in the private sector, trusts, social enterprises, the voluntary and community sector, and local authorities.

Fact sheet on the health and wellbeing benefits of urban green space.

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