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Round-up of Healthy City Week 2017

Healthy City Week returned this month with a programme of 28 events taking place across Bristol from Avonmouth, Stapleton and Lawrence Hill to Broadmead, Bedminster and Chew Magna. The week offered a range of ways to get involved, with over 1,500 attendances at events and a further 600+ people and organisations joining the conversation online.

The programme provided a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, make new connections and explore the intersections between the health of our citizens and the environmental sustainability of our city - thanks to the collective efforts of over 70 organisations who hosted events, contributed presentations or ran workshops.

Exploring health & sustainability challenges

The idea of a ‘Healthy City Week’ originated from a group of Bristol Green Capital Partnership members in 2015, whose aim was to shine a spotlight on health and wellbeing that ‘doesn’t cost the earth’. Since then, Healthy City Week has taken place every year – led by Bristol Green Capital Partnership and supported by Bristol Health Partners.

The 2017 programme offered a smaller and more focused programme than previous years, responding to some of the major health and sustainability challenges we currently face:

  • Bristol has dangerously high levels of air pollution (currently attributed to 300 deaths per year in Bristol urban area) and a highly congested traffic system (and the population is projected to increase by 23% over the next 20 years.)
  • The gap in healthy life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas of Bristol has increased in recent years (17 years for women, 16 years for men).
  • Many of the health issues are preventable, with low physical activity being cited as one of the biggest lifestyle issues for Bristol.
  • More than 25,000 families in our city can’t afford to keep warm or cook regular hot meals.

Credit: Architecture Centre

Healthy City Week deepened understanding of these issues and explored solutions – through expert presentations, lively debates and promotion of many existing initiatives in the city already creating positive change. We saw the launch of WHAM from Centre for Sustainable Energy, providing practical resources that will help communities tackle the issue of cold homes; many thought-provoking discussions on how we can achieve a more inclusive and sustainable urban environment to encourage active travel and community cohesion, whilst reducing transport inequity and improving air quality; community conversations and interactive family workshops raising awareness of the health impacts of air pollution; and workshops for prescribers, GPs and public health workers on wellbeing and connection to nature.

Creating new conversations & connections

Online, Healthy City Week catalysed some of our most in-depth conversations yet; with over 3,300 online engagements across the campaign, and over 600 people and organisations using #HealthyBristol and #HealthyCityWeek. View our storify report here to read the hot topics and suggestions on social media for the week.

There was also a chance to try something new, as Healthy City Week provided the opportunity to cycle with LifeCycle UK, be a farmer for the day, or learn about many of the projects and initiatives from the health and sustainability communities in Bristol.

Would you like to be involved in Healthy City Week in future? Sign up to become a member of Bristol Green Capital Partnership to stay in the loop with future opportunities, or e-mail vicki@bristolgreencapital.org

Further opportunities…

  • Did you attend an event in Healthy City Week 2017? Leave your feedback online at http://bit.ly/hcw17feedback (survey closes on 22 Oct)
  • Catch up with our Healthy City Week 2017 blog series, featuring stories from North Bristol NHS Trust, Centre for Sustainable Energy and North Bristol SusCom.
  • We’ll be asking health and sustainability leaders in the city to share their thoughts on how we can build a healthier Bristol on Friday 20 Oct as part of Festival of the Future City – the event is sold out, but there may be returns on the door and you can follow the event at #futurecity17
  • Interested in taking action on cold homes? Join an innovative open space discussion at City Hall, 8.30am – midday on 1 November with Bristol Energy Company and Centre for Sustainable Energy, to discuss what can we do together that we can’t do alone to ensure that no Bristol resident suffers a cold home? Register for the event here.
  • Listen again to our Healthy Bristol session from Festival of the Future City
News & Information, Healthy City Week
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