Designing healthier cities: congress to explore climate action

How can we balance local urban needs with the wider considerations of the global climate emergency? The Healthy City Design International Congress 2023 will present new directions

Climate-resilient development that balances the need for local regeneration with action to tackle the global climate emergency is set to play a major role in making our cities healthier places to live and work.

That will be a key message at this autumn’s Healthy City Design International Congress, which is set to take place at the Royal College of Physicians new building, the Spine, in Liverpool on 15-16 October 2018.

WORKTECH Academy is the Congress partner for work and workplace.

Walking the line

Through a programme of around 80 keynote talks, academic papers, workshops and poster presentations, the Congress will explore how cities can walk the line between people health and planetary health, charting a sustainable path that meets both local and global needs.

Keynote speakers will include the world’s leading authority on health equity, Sir Michael Marmot, Dr Nathalie Laure Roebbel, who leads urban health at the World Health Organisation, and Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Flexible working, green and blue spaces, active travel, better homes and neighbourhoods, smart technologies and support for nature and biodiversity are all activating measures that can improve the lives of citizens and reduce health inequalities while addressing the wider impacts of planetary health.

Heritage of Liverpool

The choice of Liverpool for the Congress is highly relevant as the city has a rich heritage in both public health and urban regeneration.

The £13 million Spine building, located in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, is the Royal College of Physicians’ northern HQ and has been described as one of the world’s healthiest buildings. Designed to achieve WELL Platinum status, this 160,000 sq ft, 14-storey structure has offices across seven floors to accommodate exams, education facilities, conferences and meetings.

The Spine uses biophilic design principles, with strong connections to nature established throughout the building. The façade takes inspiration from the human skin, with a striking Voronoi pattern including 23 million individual polygons applied in a frit pattern to the glazing.

Wide participation

Leading organisations participating in the Work and Workplace stream at the Healthy City Design International Congress will include Gensler, CBRE, Design with Science, Stantec, HLM Architects, the International WELL Building Institute, University College London and RMIT University Australia.

WORKTECH Academy Director Jeremy Myerson is the co-founder and academic chair of the Health City Design International Congress in his role as Professor Emeritus of Design at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art. The Congress made its debut in October 2017 with the aim to build stronger links between professionals in urban design,  public health, research, business and technology.

Myerson explains: ‘In focusing on climate-resilient development, this Congress is highly relevant to every real estate director, service provider, architect and developer in the WORKTECH network. The workplace is now central to improving wellbeing and sustainability in the wider urban realm. Holding the Congress in such a vibrant and fast-developing city as Liverpool is also an exciting departure.’

Special offer

Read up on the Healthy City Design International Congress 2023 programme here. Register for the Congress here.

There is a special offer for WORKTECH Academy subscribers and members: £395 + VAT for the two-day congress, a saving of £150 off the commercial rate of £545 + VAT. For one day: £225 + VAT instead of £345, so a saving of £120. To take up this special offer, contact Marc Sansom at [email protected]

The Healthy City Design International Congress 2023 is organised by Salus Global.
Find exclusive content in the


Premium content for Global Partners, Corporate and Community Members.
The latest analysis and commentary on the future of work and workplace in five distinct themes: Research & Insights, Case Studies, Expert Interviews, Trend Publications, and Technology Guides.