Public Health Wales has published a response to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
Creating healthier places and spaces for our present and future generations talks about the importance of activity-friendly neighbourhoods and the importance of green spaces.
Being physically active benefits individual and population health and reduces the risks of obesity and chronic conditions; inactivity cost the NHS in Wales £35 million in 2015. Supporting walking and cycling has been identified as a ‘Best Buy’ to increase physical activity levels and it is estimated that living in an activity-friendly neighbourhood can provide between 32% and 59% of the 150 minutes of weekly physical activity that is recommended for adults to maintain good health.
It’s a good document that should be taken to heart by councils all over Wales. However, the challenge, as is the case with other documents like this, is that it depends on councillors and council officers unlearning everything they’ve been taught over the years.
It should no longer be about moving cars around, but moving people; about making neighbourhoods liveable and residents not dependent on cars to get around; about building homes and amenities together, so that people aren’t forced to travel across the city to reach them, or to spend money when they get there.