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Engaging a wider public health workforce: bringing public health into architecture education

Marsh, Rachael; Marco, Elena; Pilkington, Paul; Rice, Louis


Elena Marco

Louis Rice
Associate Professor in Architecture


Architects can play a key role in the wider public health workforce, in ensuring building and urban design is health promoting, however there is no requirement to teach health by architectural accreditation bodies.

To evaluate the impact of the Public Health Practitioner in Residence programme on the ability of a cohort of architecture alumni to create healthier buildings and places.

Data was collected using questionnaires, a focus group, interviews, and programme documentation from a Bachelor of Architecture cohort (N=39) at intervals from 20112019. The evaluation uses the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework.

Participants developed and maintained a broad understanding of determinants of health, which bought greater personal satisfaction and ethical responsibility to their jobs. Career stage, firm size, project type, statutory requirements, resources, and the understanding of others in the architectural process affected the participants’ ability to improve health in practice.

These findings suggest the programme could and should be replicated in other educational institutions or advocate for changes in the national architecture curriculum. Evaluating health effects of developments, accessible evidence, engaging with the public, developers, financiers and landowners and making health more explicit in regulations could help integrate health into architecture education.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Cities & Health
Print ISSN 2374-8834
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Marsh, R., Marco, E., Pilkington, P., & Rice, L. (in press). Engaging a wider public health workforce: bringing public health into architecture education. Cities and Health,
Keywords public health; interdisciplinary; workforce development; architecture; planning; education