Out and about: transport, green spaces and the built environment

  • Living close to green space reduces mortality.  Planning for green space could therefore help to reduce the inequalities of life expectancy experienced between socio-economic groups.
  • Aspects of the built environment such as energy efficiency, ventilation and safety features of houses have a direct impact on health.  High quality building can be health promoting.
  • Transport planning can enhance health by promoting active transport (such as cycling and walking), facilitating social interaction, and improving access to green spaces, fresh food and other amenities and services that promote health.
  • Good transport planning can reduce the risk of injury to road users and pedestrians and minimise air pollution.
  • People are more likely to walk, cycle and play in natural, attractive spaces.  The overall “quality” of the green space – function, safety, accessibility, emotional and physical attractiveness with diverse and interesting natural sights is an important theme in the frequency and consistency of its use.
  • Exposure to green spaces is good for health can improve mental wellbeing and in  may stimulate more social contact.
  • Community gardening can serve as a mechanism for combating social isolation and promoting social cohesion by contributing to the development of social networks. Positive health benefits include improved access to food and increased physical activity.  Factors which promote the use of community gardens include safety, proximity to users’ homes providing natural surveillance and secured tenure.