The true beating heart of a city is the well-being of its inhabitants. As the populations of urban areas continue to grow, healthy surroundings are only becoming more important. Meanwhile, available space keeps decreasing. We need to connect spatial challenges in smart ways in order to achieve maximum impact.

People’s health is bound up with their physical condition and personal behaviours, but also with their environment. We design cities that encourage people to be physically active and social and that afford equal opportunities to everyone. We also strive to minimise air, noise and light pollution. In these ways, we create cities that support and promote physical and mental well-being. Because a nurturing city is a city where everyone can lead a full, healthy life, regardless of age, gender or limitations. 

“We design cities that encourage people to be physically active and social and that afford equal opportunities to everyone.”

A handbook for healthy spatial thinking

The toolbox we created to foster healthy urbanisation outlines the basic principles underlying this necessary revolution. How can public space design exert a positive effect on people’s well-being? We hope the principles will ultimately lead to a new Neufert – a handbook bringing together spatial thinking and human health.

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Practical guide to healthy cities

Our health and wellbeing is more important than ever. Cities around the world are currently investing in walking and cycling. A good start, but it doesn't end there. The healthy city is also about proximity, inclusiveness, affordable housing, healthy food and contact with nature. So how do we start building healthier cities? Read all about it in our practical guide to healthy cities. It is packed with interesting insights about the influence of the built environment on our health and  many inspiring examples that have already been realized today

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The Netherlands’ fittest province

What does the province of Zuid-Holland – currently the Netherlands’ unhealthiest – have to do to become its healthiest? That question spurred an ambitious study we conducted with the province and TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. If the province is to remain a pleasant place to live, work and play in the future, a healthy environment will be an important precondition. With the help of analysis and four narratives, we map out a path to a province full of fit, energetic residents.

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Inviting tidal landscape

A new sand trap is being built in the river Schijn as part of Antwerp’s Oosterweel link project. Solid concrete elements in the water and on the bank form paths, open areas, seats, stairs and ramps. The water level changes with time, so elements are sometimes submerged. Vegetation adds visual relief and colour, turning this variable world into an artificial tidal landscape.

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A green centre

Part of the plan for the Groene Singel, Park Brialmont serves Berchem, part of central Antwerp. Like many inner-city districts, Berchem is short on play areas and outdoor space. This new neighbourhood park provides residents with a place to play, an urban farming area, and a barbecue grill, plus a unique bridge to the Brilschanspark on the other side of the ring road.

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Healthy Urbanisation


Your surroundings have an impact on the health of your body and mind. A clean and pleasant environment that encourages salutary choices ensures that people will feel – and be – healthier. With more and more residents in urban areas, it’s high time we shifted the focus back onto designing vital cities for fit people. This video shows how PosadMaxwan is working to build healthy cities – one of the most important tasks of the present moment.

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