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Planning the healthy city: soft-normativism as an approach to problems of value pluralism and complexity in built environment interventions

Lead Applicant:

  • Dr James Wilson (Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health)

Main Collaborator:

  • Prof Mark Tewdwr-Jones (Bartlett School of Planning)

Additional Collaborators:

  • Giovanni De Grandis (Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health)
  • Yvonne Rydin (Bartlett School of Planning)
GCSC (Wilson) Planning the Healthy City

This project extends the framework used in the UCL-Lancet Commission report, ‘Shaping Cities for Health’, arguing that the inter-relationships leading to urban health outcomes are complex, non-linear and multi-directional.

This project aims to develop a new approach to managing complexity and value conflicts in planning, through a critical engagement between the values of the stakeholders, normative reasoning about the ethics of health promotion, and the constraints afforded by present circumstances.

Planning for health raises important questions about power and justice – questions which neither planning theory nor political philosophy in their current incarnations are well equipped to answer. This project establishes a dialogue between the two disciplines. The project will bring together several academic disciplines relevant to sustainable cities. It engages philosophers, ethicists and others interested in making public policy about how to manage value conflicts in a legitimate way under real world conditions

Workshop outputs will be published as in a journal special edition, and a website and blog will be developed at www.thejustcity.org.