The evidence based benefits for why environmental sustainability specialists might want to engage with health and planning are highlighted below:
To reinforce the case for action by making links to health outcomes
Many environmental sustainability specialists already work closely with planners, commenting on planning applications or informing the development of planning policies. However there are significant overlaps between a preventative approach to health that seeks to address the wider determinants of health and action to protect and enhance the environment and tackle climate change (see Links between environmental sustainability and health agendas page). Making links with health outcomes can therefore strengthen the justification for actions on environmental sustainability
To pool funding and human resources to meet shared objectives
Collaborating with planners and public health officers on initiatives could enable the pooling of funding and human resources, thus enabling shared objectives to be achieved more cost effectively. This may include securing section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy (see planning obligations page) payments made by developers as part of planning approval.
To influence planning policy and planning decisions
Planning is fundamental to the way our cities, towns, villages and countryside look, the way they work and the way they relate to each other. Good planning can have a hugely beneficial effect on the way we live our lives, including on our environmental impacts and our health and wellbeing. In order to influence the planners you need to understand the planning regime.