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Architecture: Urban design and wellbeing

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Abstract

The design of the urban environment plays a key role in the health and wellbeing of residents. Often though, cities and their neighbourhoods are not planned and designed with wellbeing in mind. What may result are: (1) pockets of deprivation; (2) high population densities that suffer from inadequate services; and (3) a lack of high-quality, accessible natural environments situated within (4) walkable neighbourhoods. This chapter explores some of the leading, empirical research concerning these four urban design issues and presents a case study that analyses the relationship between the urban design of four neighbourhoods in Birmingham (UK) and the wellbeing of their inhabitants. Recommendations for how to improve wellbeing through urban design are discussed as well as the role of healthcare professionals in delivering healthcare to enhance wellbeing in cities.