Embedding Health in Local Design Guides and Measuring Impact of Planning on Public Health in Manchester

Project Details


In July 2021, the government announced that local authorities produce their own local design guides and codes setting out high-quality urban design principles, which new urban developments in their areas should reflect. This was part of a wider national strategy as outlined in the government’s response to ‘Living with Beauty’ report by the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, aiming to create beautiful and distinctive places with a consistent and high-quality standard of design. Measures to improve health and wellbeing of communities by design guides and codes were identified as one of the key objectives of this strategy.

To inform the development of the emerging policy around Local Urban Design Guide and Codes, the University of Manchester is collaborating with Manchester City Council on a research study that investigates place-based urban design solutions to improve population health in urban developments, using a regeneration project in North Manchester as a case study. This collaboration is built on two main principles; that the complexity of real-world problems requires integration of knowledge drawn from different fields, and that genuine co-production is a prerequisite of the success of the developed urban design solutions.

We seek to identify health determinants and study examples of good urban design principles and practices in residential-led mixed-use urban regenerations, which have achieved improvements in population health, and to establish robust principles that would guide the development of the emerging policy around Local Design Guide and Codes and guide the development of policy with respect to regeneration projects in North Manchester.
Effective start/end date17/02/2230/11/22

Collaborative partners

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • healthy cities
  • urban planning
  • urban design
  • policy making

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Policy@Manchester
  • Manchester Urban Institute


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