UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Co-creating a healthy parks framework

Camden and Islington Local Authorities are working with UCL to co-develop an urban parks framework to assess and plan for health and wellbeing outcomes.

Green Park in London

20 July 2022

Key facts

  • Funding body: UCL Public Policy, Bartlett Innovation Fund & Future Parks for London
  • ​​​​​​Project partners: London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Islington
  • Project start date: July 2021
  • Duration: 15 months


Public open and green space plays a vital role in urban communities and local authorities are increasingly keen to make such spaces part of the health system. Building on the Government funded ‘Parks for Health’ programme, Camden and Islington Local Authorities are working with UCL to co-develop a framework to assess and plan for health and wellbeing outcomes through urban parks. 

This project will develop and test a ‘Healthy Parks Framework’: an operational policy framework that will assess, plan, and maintain parks in accordance with public health objectives in the two boroughs with potential to develop bespoke frameworks in other localities. 

This project is funded by the UCL Public Policy Rapid Response Fund, but feeds into Camden and Islington’s Future Parks Accelerator ‘Parks for Health’ programme awarded in 2019.  The programme aims to strategically examine the role that public open spaces have in improving residents’ health and in reducing health inequalities. 

The Healthy Parks Framework is being co-created through a participatory process bringing together academics, policymakers, practitioners, and park stakeholder groups, alongside a review of existing park health appraisal frameworks and indicator. 

Funding from UCL’s Bartlett Innovation Fund is supporting the testing and embedding of the Healthy Parks Framework, taking an action research approach, focusing on the application of the Framework on a real-life case study. 


The developed Framework will play a role in:

  • Raising awareness, to public groups and policymakers, about the relationship between parks and health
  • Assessing and maintaining existing spaces and facilities, and plan activities, with health principles in mind
  • Engaging publics and other community stakeholders in decision-making processes
  • Identifying what elements of a space and its facilities are significant for public health.

Watch our animation 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/-SPnP0p2aZI


Read our blogs 


Co PIs:

  • Dr Gemma Moore (UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering)
  • Dr Liza Griffin (Bartlett Development Planning Unit)
  • Ruth Hynes (Independent Researcher)