Arcadis consults on projects such as climate-proofing cities, building infrastructure, and renewing neighbourhoods
Groningen is the healthiest city in the Netherlands, says design consultancy Arcadis. The title is based on a study that has looked at the characteristics of a healthy city since 2016: Groningen has a lot of outdoor space and the healthiest ‘living environment’, says the consultancy, and so tops the list of 20 cities. As reported by the GIC.
The study mainly investigated how our physical environment can contribute to health. Rotterdam and Zaanstad come bottom the list, sharing 19th place. The absence of the major cities in the top 10 of the list is striking: suggesting that packing as many people as possible into economically active areas can lead to unhealthy residents. Utrecht scores best of the big cities, with twelfth place. The largest cities (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, etc) score especially low in the domains of “Healthy Environment”, “Healthy Outdoor Space” and “Healthy Community”.
“Globally, our cities score well when it comes to health,” says John Boon of Arcadis. “The life expectancy of our people is relatively high and so is the number of years that we tend to live in good health. Our Healthy City Index was already in the pipeline before the Coronavirus pandemic, and it is precisely this pandemic that has emphasized the importance of a healthy city! ”
“The municipalities [that we] studied are large and varied. Due to the expected growth, it is quite a task to arrange these physically in such a way that they contribute to the health of the residents. For cities that are shrinking, the challenge is to maintain facilities that contribute to health. There is an extra challenge for the neighborhoods where many people with a lower income and lower education live. The challenge here is to make the physical environment healthier together with the residents. The most important conclusion is that good policy matters!”, says Boon.
The ‘Healthy City Indez 2020’:
15. Den Haag