Place Standard Workshop – How Good Is Our Place?
Carlisle, Friday 16th November 2018
Venue: Committee Rooms ABC, Civic Centre, Carlisle
The WHO European Healthy Cities Network is celebrating its 30 year anniversary in 2018, as well as preparing for the new phase of work of the network, Phase VII, which will be launched in January 2019. The vision and work of this new phase is outlined in the Copenhagen Consensus of Mayors: Healthier and Happier Cities for All, which was adopted by over 40 Mayors and 85 high-level city representatives at the Summit of Mayors, in February 2018. Central to the Consensus are six themes, of which Place is one: People, Place, Participation, Prosperity, Planet, and Peace.
Following the September 2017 WHO Masterclass on Healthy People and Healthy Places in the WHO European Region that was held in Edinburgh with NHS Health Scotland, the Place Standard was identified as one tool to support the evolving work on Place. Subsequently, strong interest has been shown by individual cities and national networks on taking this work forward themselves in their respective environments.
What is the Plan Standard?
The Place Standard is a tool developed jointly by the Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and Architecture & Design Scotland to support inclusive decision making and community engagement on place. The focus of the tool is seeking the views of local people on the quality of their living environment and how this could be affected by a range of policies that are relevant to spatial planning, physical and social regeneration. The findings from the tool can be used to inform decision making at policy as well as operational level, and the tool can also be used to increase mutual understanding between policymakers and local communities.
The Tool has been used by a number of European countries following pilot projects in Scotland. Initial evaluation indicates that the tool has contributed to improving relationships between communities and statutory agencies; and has also contributed to a clearer understanding of local needs and priorities that local authorities have found helpful.
The Place Standard Tool can promote the links between good quality living environment and better health outcomes that underlies a range of policy targets set out by various local and national strategies.
The Cumbria Public Health Strategy recognises the importance of a good quality living environment to improving general health outcomes. This link between the environment and public health is also recognised by the Carlisle District Local Plan, as highlighted within the Healthy and Thriving Communities sub policy. Carlisle City Councils Carlisle Plan also highlights the importance of health and wellbeing and the wider determinants of health.
The purpose of the workshop:
Programme and Attendees
33 participants attended the Place Standard Workshop, with a welcome and introduction from Cllr Lee Sherriff (Portfolio Holder for Communities, Health and Wellbeing), Darren Crossley (Deputy Chief Executive of Carlisle City Council and Chair of the UKHCN) and Laura Cadman, (CEO of Cumbria CVS).
The day commenced with the presentation “A Local Perspective on “Carlisle the Place” by Cathryn Beckett-Hill (Cumbria County Council) and Emma Dixon (Carlisle Partnership); looking at what Carlisle Districts current health data tells us about our place and the effects of wider determinants of health – showing that 40% our health and wellbeing is effected by lifestyle, 40% by social and economic factors and only 10% is affected by health services and 10% by genetics; lending emphasis to the importance of our place in terms of our overall health and
John Howie, Organisational Lead for Place - NHS Health Scotland, then talked us through the Place Standard Tool, included the background behind the development of the tool, implementation, design and a few case studies showing how other places, both within the UK and Europe, have utilised the tool. More detail on these presentations can be found in the download section of this page.
After a question & answer session, during which delegates were already starting to see the benefits of using the tool within their community groups or organisations, attendees were split into 4 groups and given the opportunity to practically test the tool.
Practical Pilot and Application of the Place Standard Tool
Each group contained 8 participants, *splitting the 14 dimensions of the Place Standard tool between them. Within their groups, participants worked in pairs to discuss and mark their allotted dimensions.
*NOTE: Normal use of the Place Standard tool would see each participant mark all 14 dimensions of the tool; however, training was carried out in this way due to time constraints and for the purpose of understanding the tool and practical use for this workshop.
The 14 dimensions for users to consider include:
Each participant was given a Place Standard booklet, which explains in more detail what each dimension means and provides helpful prompts to support users in considering multiple aspects of their Place when marking. For example; ‘Feeling Safe’ – participants are asked to consider the question “Do I feel safe here?” However, the answer to this question may vary depending on; the time of day or night; weather conditions; time of year; antisocial behaviours; crime; surrounding property conditions; age; sex; ethnic group; religious beliefs; sexuality; disability; etc.
The Place Standard booklet encourages participants to rate each dimension on the scale of 1 (lowest) – 7 (highest) and take notes on the reasons for why a participant has marked a certain way. After each group had completed their routes, they returned to discuss their observations and plot their ratings on the Place Standard wheel. At this point participants were asked to add comments taken whilst on route to post-it notes to support final scoring for each dimension on the Place Standard wheel.
Once all the dimensions were discussed and plotted on the Place Standard wheel, a graph is formed, which more clearly indicates dimension that score higher or lower within a place. The final part of the process is to analyse, prioritise and suggest possible actions to improve priority areas. Each group was asked to identify up to 3 priorities for change based on the overall analysis of a route, and for these 3 priorities, suggest actions.
Eg: Reduce traffic speeds (priority) by introducing a new reduced speed limit (action).
These final priorities and actions were reviewed and presented to the workshop group as a whole at the end of the session, as part of the final feedback and discussion.
The workshop came to a close with final reflections, next steps and closing remarks given by Emma Dixon (Partnership Manager).
Feedback and Comments from Participants:
“I know the Place Standard will be of great to use in our organisation in a lot of different ways and the session was really informative.”
“…it was good having a mix of people and get conversation’s going about the city centre.”
“I thought it was probably one of the best workshops I’ve been to…”
Click to watch the "How good is your place? The Place Standard tool" video