Earlier this week I was invited to give a talk on well being and urban design for the North West Region RTPI event, ‘Planning for a Healthy Future’.
This is a subject I have been interested in for some time. Based on the New Economic Foundation’s 5 Ways to well-being the talk proposed a new approach and methodoogy for making new and happy communities. You can download it here: Happy by design
There is huge anmount of work being done on Happiness at the moment. It ties very closely with the emerging Mindfulness work which is spreading across the internet and, it seems, Waterstones in Deansgate.
For me its liberating and could be the basis for new ways of talking about design and place making over and above the usual design guidance we have. Its also very inclusive in that invites other professionals to get involved in design, particularly from the health sector. The 5 ways also puts the advantage back onto the developer and their design team to think more freely and creatively about how we can make lasting places. I have always thought design guidance should invite and encourage what could be done rather than what can’t be done.