Considering the health and well-being of our communities is more often than not a secondary feature of major urban and suburban development. Whilst developers will always ensure some green space is provided within new build developments, it is rare that it is put at the centre of a scheme's design, ethos and long-term strategy.
The NHS, in partnership with a number of planners, consultants and specialists, is promoting a series of "healthy new towns", where a mix of technology and physical design are proposed to encourage the community to be more healthy.
With technology being at the centre of these proposals, the impact on personal data is considerable. Residents will have to balance the benefit of cheap gym memberships, money off their groceries and access to free Wifi with a potential Big Brother NHS watching over their every move.
In a world where the lines of public and private continue to blur, it will be interesting to see how, long-term, these types of developments are managed, monitored and protected from unnecessary management and data hoarding.
There are more than 76,000 homes on sites that have joined the programme, including Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent, Barton Park in Oxford, Whitehill and Bordon in Hampshire, Cranbrook in Devon, Barking Riverside in London, Whyndyke Farm in Lancashire, as well as new developments in Darlington, Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Northstowe in Cambridgeshire.