Festival of the Future City - How Do We Build Healthier Cities?

As part of the Bristol Ideas Festival of the Future City in October 2021, TRUUD took part in a series of key notes and panel discussions to explore how we can build healthier cities. Recordings of each of the sessions are available below:



Michael Marmot: How Can Marmot Cities Help Create a Fairer, Healthier Society?

In this special pre-recorded interview, Marmot looks at the progress of Marmot cities and regions and what needs to happen next.

In 2010, The Marmot Review into health inequalities in England, Fair Society, Healthy Lives, was published. It proposed an evidence-based strategy to address the social determinants of health.

The mission of The UCL Institute of Health Equity, which Marmot leads, is ‘nothing less than a fairer, healthier society’. One of the outcomes of this is the Marmot cities network of local authorities in England. Participating cities and regions include: Coventry, Stoke, Newcastle, Gateshead, Bristol and Somerset, Cheshire and Merseyside and Cumbria and Lancashire. In 2021, the Marmot report for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Build Back Fairer in Greater Manchester: Health Equity and Dignified Lives, put forward bold and ambitious recommendations on how to reduce health inequities and build back fairer from the Covid-19 pandemic for future generations, arguing that ‘equity of health and wellbeing must be at the heart of government and business strategy rather narrow economic goals’.



Gabriel Scally: What Does the Pandemic Mean for the Future of Cities?

The extraordinary level of government intervention in response to Covid-19 offers a unique opportunity for national and local governments to substantially shift city governance for long-term health. However, the political and economic pressures to continue with business as usual are significant. Gabriel Scally discusses how city decision-makers can use this unique moment in history to re-shape our cities for long-term health.



Panel Discussion: How Can We Bridge the Gap Between the Public and Decision-Makers in Urban Planning?

Panellists debate the changes needed to significantly improve health equity.

Longstanding urban health inequalities have been highlighted by the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on different communities. This session will explore how city leaders can work with those they serve to plan the urban environments and deliver health benefits for all.

What are the needs and goals of different groups? How can a balance be struck? What kinds of collaboration are needed between decision-makers and citizens in order for health inequalities to be addressed in future transport planning?

With Kelvin Blake, Leila Gamaz, Victoria Ofovbe, Sian Peake-Jones and Jo White. Chaired by Andy Gibson.


Panel Discussion: Long-Term Health in Lean Times: What Can UK Cities Really Do For Themselves?

Panellists debate how cities can take control of their destiny and help citizens have healthier and longer lives.

The hollowing out of the state in England has left a highly concentrated nexus of power in London and local elected bodies that lack adequate power and resources to drive their progress and prosperity. What can cities do to improve public health in relation to the non-communicable disease and health inequalities linked to quality of urban environments? What powers do they currently have to facilitate creative approaches to incorporating health outcomes in mainstream policy making? What does central government need to do to support the integration of health outcomes into successful place-based initiatives?

With Kate Ardern, Rokhsana Fiaz, Julia Goldsworthy and Matthew Taylor. Chaired by Sarah Ayres


Panel Discussion: Healthy Places and the Future of Private Sector Involvement

Panellists discuss the role of the private sector in building and maintaining healthy cities.

There is an old saying, ‘you can’t have healthy high streets without healthy back streets’. The traditional role of the private sector in creating prosperity and quality of life in local communities is no longer a feature in many areas. Most recognise that the building of genuine partnership between communities, their leaders and private enterprise should be a way forward for the regeneration of cities, and yet the dynamic is often lopsided.

The private sector is often vilified for profit-seeking and having little interest in the societal outcomes from its activities, yet many individuals working within the private sector would be horrified to think of themselves in this way. There is an emerging zeitgeist of ‘responsible capitalism’, yet many see this, even within the industry, as business-as-usual corporate greenwash.

Is long-term health incompatible with short-term business? What does a healthy private sector look like and how likely is it really that things will change radically in the near future? Does it even need to, or is it national government that needs to change?

With Krista Bondy, Matt Griffith, Rose Grayston and Alexandra Notay. Chaired by Daniel Black.