Placemaking interventions can help reduce the impact of unequal access to healthcare in areas across the country, reducing overall inequality, a new report from Mace has stated

The report, ‘Joining the dots: moving beyond place to help solve the UK’s inequality problem’, outlines a number of solutions that could help local authorities, the NHS and developers tackle inequality and poor healthcare outcomes through placemaking.

The research shows that placemaking interventions can help minimise the impact of unequal access to healthcare in areas across the country, decreasing overall inequality and delivering better outcomes while saving money for the taxpayer.

The findings come in conjunction with new polling, done by Survation on behalf of Mace, which discovered that the majority of the country don’t trust any political party to deliver ‘good places to live’ and that 90% of people rate healthcare facilities and low crime rates as the most important factors when choosing where to live.

The placemaking approach

A placemaking approach to housing requires Government support for ‘supercharged’ development corporations, taking on the challenge of integrating transport connections, healthcare and education to deliver better outcomes for people.

Durham Dales, Blackpool and Knowsley are among the areas that would benefit the most from a placemaking approach to solving inequalities.

Granting funding to development corporations through Homes England could see more people gaining access to healthcare facilities. The research shows that this would reduce the number of additional GPs that need to be recruited – estimated to be 14,000.

Mace’s recommendations to address the UK’s inequality crisis include:

  • Implement supercharged development corporations
  • Embrace Foreign Direct Investment Finance (FDIF)
  • Homes England loans
  • Accelerated planning process for applications that meet placemaking requirements
  • Establish a placemaking levy
  • Healthcare housing
  • Modify NHS planning guidance.

Jason Millett, COO for consultancy at Mace, commented: “Our research shows how targeted placemaking interventions could help close some of the inequalities that exist around the UK; helping to transform ‘forgotten’ places into thriving communities, where people can feel happier, healthier and have more aspiration.

“Our new report is a call for the next government, planners and developers to put people at the centre of new housing developments and regeneration projects to ensure they work for the communities who live there.”

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