The role of architecture in fostering healthy cities.
This research initiative explores the architectural response to the health implications of rapidly urbanising societies. The investigation looks at the concept of a healthy city as a facilitator for sustainable urban health by a holistic definition of the term. Here, health can be defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing (World Health Organisation, 1985) which argues that health problems are embedded in complex features of urban life that fall outside the province for medicine. The relationship between architecture and health is explored by a chronological investigation of the process of urbanisation which uncovers key issues such as the degradation of the urban environment through intensification and automobile reliance. Furthermore, the destruction of the natural environment and the ignorance of the socio-spatial dimensions of human habitats have led to a series of physical and social health issues. The research identifies urban design and housing examples which promote urban health through a variety of concepts such as mixed-use development, the creation of social spaces and the creation of a legible and coherent urban fabric and focuses on the needs of the community. Essentially, the research points towards a social architecture that provides a series of community services and amenities to promote health as a holistic idea.