IBI Case Study: Healthy New Towns

Launched in March 2016 in response to the NHS Five Year Forward View, the programme sets out to rethink how we live, how health and care services can be delivered, and takes an ambitious look at improving health through the built environment. The NHS has identified ten demonstrator cities as a testbed for this ambitious initiative, potentially impacting 76,000 homes, over 200,000 people, and the supporting community infrastructure.

IBI Group Infographic

The programme called for evidence based approaches to be embedded across numerous factors that could help to ‘design in health’: Health & Public Service Strategy, Spatial Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Construction Consultancy, Travel, Transport, Product Design, Digital Smart Cities, Behavioural Change, Design for Dementia.

IBI Group, a technology led design firm, a collaborative multi-disciplinary team for the Phase 1 support working with partners including: WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments at UWE Bristol, a leading sustainability consultancy, and a wellness consultant. A key part of this programme has been to integrate evidence for what works, for whom, and when into practical advice that can be adopted on the ground for live projects at the planning and delivery stages.

Through it’s in house R&D programme, IBI TH!NK, IBI has challenged its own teams to work outside the bounds that might be set by traditional approaches. By working with the leading researchers and practitioners to supplement in house skills IBI Group was able to introduce new ideas – such as how wellness programmes normally pitched at luxury hotels could be translated into behaviour change tools for a primary school?

At IBI collaboration means pushing beyond our comfort zone. It means working with teams that are assembled for a particular venture and rather than staying on the well-trodden stable ground, prospecting at the margins of our disciplines and bringing our findings back into practice.

Areas of Practice

  • Architecture


  • Planning and Environmental Assessment
  • Master Planning
  • Research
  • Health & Public Service Strategy
  • Spatial Planning, Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture, Planning
  • Construction Consultancy
  • Travel
  • Transport
  • Product Design
  • Digital Smart Cities
  • Behavioural Change
  • Design for Dementia

Client:  NHS England