The curtain came down on the 7th Healthy City Design International Congress, held this year in Liverpool, with awards presented in four categories.
The ‘Best Research Paper’ category – for the paper that addresses the Congress theme of ‘Urban renewal and health equity’ in the most original and thorough way – was awarded to Ruth Gow and Celia Garcia of Bax & Company, from Spain. The authors’ paper demonstrated the Healthy Cities Generator tool, which helps practitioners, local authorities, citizens, and researchers understand the evidence-based impact of changes to the urban environment. Delegates who attended the session remarked how it was “mind-blowing” and “we’ve been trying to do that for years!”
A special mention also went to Paul Myers, of FU: Labs, Farm Urban, for a fascinating and well-received talk on community-embedded urban farming.
The ‘Best Poster’ accolade – for the poster that conveys new research or practice in the most informative, succinct and visually stimulating way – went to Liane Hartley of social sustainability consultancy Mend. Liane illustrated a framework for ‘Considerate Urbanism’, whereby care, empathy and lived experience are centred in the production of urban space. The judges thought it was powerful, thoughtful and artful,
The ‘Most Innovative Idea’ – for the single concept, model, or project that breaks new ground in thinking about the design of healthy cities – was won by Ryder Architecture for its Liverpool Green Lanes concept, which imagines the potential of a metro-like green network connecting the city’s Knowledge Quarter to the waterfront. The judges described it as “brilliant, visionary, and in the context of the Congress theme, a no-brainer”. As well as presenting the idea in a dedicated session on day two of the Congress, the design practice showcased an interactive installation during the event and ‘walked the walk’ with a group of delegates at the end of day one.
Finally, the Health City Design Champion award – for the individual(s) or organisation that has done exceptional work of international significance over an extended period to advance the field of healthy city design – was presented to Rhiannon Corcoran PhD, professor of psychology and public mental health at the Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, and director of the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health; and Graham Marshall, director of Prosocial Place, and senior visiting research fellow at the Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool (right and centre, above image). Both have been central, from a placemaking and public health perspective, in pushing the healthy city agenda, both in the Liverpool City Region and more widely in the UK.
Congratulations to this year’s winners.