The Happy Design Toolkit is a book on how good architecture can help mental health in the community. Simple factors like lighting, comfort and access to nature and social interaction, can alll impact how we feel. The book feaftures 100 hand-drawn illustrations covering roof gardens to living facades, and shows how ‘bumping into each other’ architecture can cure social isolation.
Restorative Cities looks at how overcrowding, noise and air pollution, long commutes and lack of daylight can take a huge toll on our mental health. Urban design that offers public space, green parks and wildlife and areas to walk all contribute to better health overall.
Precision Community Health is a wonderful book that every town council and GP could read. When Bechara Choucair was a young doctor, he learned that treating a patient for hypothermia did little good, if she has to spend the next night in the freezing cold. As health commissioner of Chicago, he was determined to address the societal causes of disease, to help the city’s most vulnerable populations. His approach led to lower rates of smoking, teen pregnancy and breast cancer. Health is more than access to a GP, but also about decent housing, jobs, parks, food and social support.
Urban Playground is a book to show town planners how to incorporate child-friendly ideas into public spaces. Healthy happy children means stronger communities, greener neighbourhoods and a thriving economy. Seeing cities through the eyes of children can produce planning and transport policy that works for people of all ages. Move from car-dominated, noisy and polluted communities, – to create ones that are welcoming and walkable.