On April 18th the Healthy City Conference took place at the Sparta Stadium in Rotterdam. This event, co-organised by the Healthy Neighbourhoods and SPRING consortia, brought together researchers, partners and students to think about the healthy city of the future.
The day consisted mostly of workshops and presentations that each brought a unique perspective to this central theme. From creating a healthy physical environment to designing policies for tackling health inequalities and working with target groups. Summaries of the presentations and workshops can be found here.
Interspersed between the presentations were plenary talks, such as the opening talk by John Boon from Arcadis on how to combine high density living with green spaces. After lunch there was room for a critical note by Rene Cuperus, author of De atlas van afgehaakt Nederland who urged the attendees to look beyond the ideas of their own social group and to see the reasons behind the choices of others. This idea was carried forward by Marco Pastors, director of NPRZ, who explained the importance of responsibility and a good social basis for making healthy choices.
The day ended with a panel discussion. Panel members Machiel van Dorst (SPRING), Jacqueline Jonkhart (Giovanni Van Bronkhorst Foundation), Frank van Lenthe (EMC) and Lieke Oldenhof (CARE Lab Rotterdam) discussed from there different points of view how to better align research and practice. After this versatile program, there was some time during dinner to reflect on the day and to get to know each other better in the hopes of reconnecting in the future to seek new avenues for research into the design of healthy cities.