Welcome to

Healthy City Design 2020

30 November–03 December 2020
Preliminary Programme

We're delighted to launch the Preliminary Programme for the 4th Healthy City Design International Congress, which has been rescheduled to 30 November – 3 December 2020 and will now be held in a virtual setting over four days with more than 100 talks and workshops and 200 speakers from all over the world. In response both to the ongoing challenges faced by cities and communities and by the onset of the global pandemic, this year’s theme explores ‘Designing resilient communities: Recovery, renewal and renaissance’.

Building the healthy city

The postwar period has seen multiple organisations, governments and professions heading in non-sustainable, unhealthy directions – a trend that needs reversing with a sense of urgency, and through multidisciplinary collaboration. This, argued Healthy City Design keynote speaker Dan Burden, director of innovation and inspiration at Blue Zones, can only happen when a new, united approach is applied to city making.

Arts and health

Art and cultural activities can be thought of as multimodal health interventions, which combine lots of different components that are positive for people’s health. So said Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Psychobiology and Epidemiology at University College London, during a keynote talk at Healthy City Design that drilled deep into the detail about the influence of the arts on health.


This presentation will set the context for planning, design and health professionals to better understand how their own expertise and practice can contribute to a better future.


The deadline for abstract submissions for the 4th Healthy City Design International Congress has been extended to 2 June. Resilience is not simply a big topic for the healthy city – the impact of COVID-19 means it is now the burning question of the day. At HCD 2020, we’ll look at the resilient city from many angles – from creating more resilient homes, neighbourhoods, transport systems and workplaces, to the design decisions that underscore more resilient placemaking and urban renewal.


Whether it’s climate change, physical inactivity, air pollution, traffic injuries, social isolation, stress, or inequalities, we all agree these major urban environmental and health challenges need to be addressed profoundly and urgently. But the way we address these problems matters.


This presentation will showcase new approaches to music in society that are delivering opportunities to listen, dance and sing more.


This presentation will reveal some of the fascinating findings on the impact of the arts on the prevention and treatment of mental and physical health conditions.


In this session, Dan Burden, with 50 years’ experience designing cities for human and community health, identifies the five healthiest, most sustainable places in the world, called Blue Zones.

People and planetary health

With human and planetary health under increasing stresses, urban planners need to create more comprehensive theories and tools for action to support city resilience and the wellbeing of citizens – but it’s vital to learn from history and the consequences of earlier thinking. So said Mark W Johnson, a landscape architect and founding principal of Civitas, in a stirring keynote at the Healthy City Design 2019 congress.

Arts and health

Music is the most under-recognised, undervalued, under-utilised asset on the planet, and it isn’t being used to its full potential. This was Julia Jones’ opening salvo at Health City Design 2019, as she delivered a keynote on the power of music to help improve health and wellbeing, and become part of a city’s utopian vision.

Co-benefits of health

Significantly greater health benefits can be attained through a focus on joined-up and holistic thinking in respect of environmental strategies, according to Dr Audrey de Nazelle, who delivered the opening keynote at this year’s Healthy City Design 2019 Congress.

Healthy City Design 2020
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Endorsing partners

  • International Nighttime Design Initiative (NTD)
  • Cities & Health
  • Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health
  • The Academy of Urbanism
  • C3 Collaborating for Health
  • Design Council
  • Town and Country Planning Association
  • Urban Design Group
  • WorkTech Academy
  • Mike Nightingale Fellowship
  • Media Partner: Research Design Connections
  • Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN)
  • Health and Wellbeing in Planning Peer Support Network
  • Barcelona Institute for Global Health – ISGlobal
  • UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering
  • ISOCARP – International Society of City and Regional Planners
  • Salzburg Global
  • Health&Greenspace project, URBACT
Sponsors and exhibitors

  • Llewelyn Davies
  • HLM Architects
  • Archus
  • Ryder Architecture
  • Visualite
Award Sponsors