Group of people sat in a room listening to a presentationOn Tuesday 26 September 2023, Active Kent & Medway, with support from Town and Country Planning Association, coordinated an in-person event at The Orchards Event Centre, East Malling, to bring together stakeholders who have an interest in healthy placemaking and active environments.

“Planning shapes the places in which people live, and so shapes their ability to live healthy lives.”

Over 50 attendees from local government, planning, transport, active travel and public health came together to hear from key partners who shared insight, experiences and recommendations for active design and active environments at a local and national level.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Liz Davidson, our Active Partnership Director and an introduction to the county’s Move Together strategy for sport and physical activity. Attendees then heard from a range of speakers covering the following topics:

  • Overview of Healthy Placemaking and Health in Kent – Claire Pamberi, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Manager and Paul Clarke, Public Health Specialist, Kent County Council
  • Health in Planning – Gemma Hyde, Project and Policy Officer, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Active Design Guide – Nick Evans, Head of Planning, Sport England
  • Overview of Ebbsfleet – Simon Harrison, Head of Design, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
  • David Lock Associates ‘Identifying Improvements to a site’ – Owen Reading, Associate Urban Designer, David Lock Associates.

Group of people sitting in a room listening to a speakerAttendees took part in an interactive exercise and roundtable discussions. Afterwards, they had the opportunity to provide feedback, with 80% saying it was a ‘very useful event’. They also told us that there was ‘a good range of professional speakers covering a wide range of examples’ and they ‘enjoyed the opportunity to network in-person’. Some suggested improvements included more interactive discussions, more opportunities to feedback and more involvement from health partners.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers and the attendees for making the event such a great success.

“Active Kent & Medway are making great progress in highlighting the importance of enabling Active Environments with stakeholders. Their leadership locally is critical to ensuring good quality neighbourhoods are built to promote active travel and enable good access to spaces and places to be active.”

Simon Hamilton, Active Environments Network Lead, Sport England

“We were delighted to have such a diverse turn out of attendees from across Kent and Medway, representing planning, transport, active travel, public health and physical activity. We will continue to listen and learn about the challenges faced around Healthy Placemaking to ensure we can facilitate the most appropriate approach to move this agenda forward and keep the conversation going. Ultimately working towards, getting more people more active more often and creating a healthier Kent and Medway.”

Sophie Ward, Active Environments Lead, Active Kent & Medway

If you would like to join the conversation, please contact Sophie Ward at

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