City of Well-being provides a radical and holistic introduction to the science and art of town planning. It starts from the premise that the purpose of planning is the health, well-being and sustainable quality of life of people. Drawing on current and historic examples it offers inspiration, information and an integrated perspective which challenges all professions and decision-makers that affect the urban environment. It is both authoritative and readable, designed for students, practitioners, politicians and civil society.
The science. Summarizing the most recent research, the book demonstrates the interrelationships between the huge issues of obesity, unhealthy lifestyles, inequality, mental illness, climate change and environmental quality. The radical implications for transport, housing, economic, social and energy policies are spelt out.
The art and politics. The book examines how economic development really happens, and how spatial decisions reinforce or undermine good intentions. It searches for the creative strategies, urban forms and neighbourhood designs that can marry the ideal with the real. The relationship of planning and politics is tackled head-on, leading to conclusions about the role of planners, communities and development agencies in a pluralistic society. Healthy planning principles could provide a powerful logical motivation for all practitioners.
"Marrying vision with practical reality, Barton provides lessons that are genuinely transferrable to the everyday working activities of planners and other professionals (such as the health sector)."
Peter Fawcett, University of Liverpool, TPR 88 (6) 2017
"We live in the age of the city and yet many modern cities are inhospitable, unhealthy places. Hugh Barton has done it again – he brings together traditional best practice with pioneering insights of how to make good human habitats. City of Well-being is no less than an urgently needed blueprint for creating healthy, liveable and sustainable cities. This is essential reading for all concerned with creating a worthy new home for humanity."
Herbert Girardet, author, Creating Regenerative Cities
"This is the city planning book I have been waiting for - tackling health, community, climate and our mistress, master and urban disaster, the car! Hugh Barton brings a lifetime of experience, research and common sense to put people at the heart of our placemaking process."
George Ferguson CBE PPRIBA, Mayor of Bristol 2012-16
"This is a majestic book that takes us on a wonderful and passionate journey about the possibilities and potential of planning into the 21st Century. With people at its centre, and the ‘time bombs’ of chronic disease and climate change ticking away, Hugh Barton firmly establishes health and wellbeing as the rightful cornerstones of a planning practice that matters and makes a difference to us all. Eloquently argued, beautifully written and scholarly in its comprehensive scope, this book exposes the ironies of contemporary planning and how we can, and must, take a better way to ensure a happy and healthy future for all life and the planet upon which it depends."
Susan Thompson, Professor of Planning and Associate Director (City Wellbeing) City Futures Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, Australia
List of Figures
Prologue: contrasting city scenarios
1. Putting people at the heart of planning
2. A framework for understanding
3. Shafts of light from the past
4. The emergence of modern planning
5. Beacons of hope
III Cognition: understanding people and environment
6. Spatial planning for physical well-being
7. Planning for mental and social well-being
8. Planning for place equity
9. Climate change and settlement planning
10. The local ecology of cities
IV Navigation: a route map for healthy planning
11. Reality check: the economics of land and development
12. Sustainable urban form
13. Healthy neighbourhood design
14. Urban dynamics
V. Perspiration: land, power and the planning process
14. The governance of land
16. The planning process and the role of planners
17. Putting principle into practice