Can we create sustainable, resilient and healthy communities, or do they just happen?
Increasingly towns and cities are seeking to make themselves more sustainable and resilient to future shocks and challenges. At the same time improved liveability, quality of life and wellbeing are seen as increasingly important goals of communities. How can this be done? What is the role of urban design, transport, greenspace, geography, access to resources and facilities etc, or is it just about the people who live there? Are sustainable, resilient communities an natural artefact of place and geography, or can we intentional planned for them? Drawing on a series of research projects and additional evidence, the presentation will endeavour to address some of these issues, and ultimately address the question, can we help create sustainable, resilient and healthy communities.
Simon Kingham is a Professor of geography at the University of Canterbury, where he also directs the Geohealth Laboratory. In February 2018 he became the Ministry of Transport’s first (and only) Chief Science Advisor, to which he is seconded two days a week. He has researched widely in issues related to environment, health and wellbeing. The first 15 years saw a strong focus on air pollution exposure and health, but more recently, the focus has been on the urban built environment and wellbeing.