Policies for healthy living environments

The purpose of public health policies is to empower people to flourish. Health policies help create living environments that make it easier for everyone to pursue productive, fulfilling lives. This initiative maps a select number of promising policies to reshape living environments for the benefit of people and the planet.

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About this initiative


Living environments are the surroundings and contexts that we encounter and interact with in our every-day lives. From the air we breathe and the transport systems we use, to the socio-economic conditions we are exposed to and the price and types of products available for purchase. Living environments profoundly influence our choices and life chances.

By reshaping living environments, public health policies enable people to pursue common-held aspirations about their own, their children’s and the planet’s long-term health. Health policies are freedom-enhancing and avoid blaming and stigmatising individuals.

Creating empowering living environments requires well-considered regulations and strong systems of governance. Regulation can create a level playing field for both people and businesses, drive future-oriented innovation and correct market failures. Governments have it at their fingertips to implement such policies, driven by human rights obligations, equity considerations and the urgent need to ensure a healthy planet for current and future generations.


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