Bristol 2018

The Health of Housing: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live

Guy Freeman

Image: Guy Freeman.


The Health of Housing: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live

Dates: 25-26 January 2018

Place: University of the West of England, Bristol



Today, the healthy cities agenda is diverse and covers everything from walkable cities to car and smoke free public spaces. However, its origins lie in the public health movement of the 19th Century, and thus a concern for housing – more specifically, campaigns to improve the living conditions of the working poor. In the UK, this link continued throughout the 20th Century. The first full Labour Government not only set up the National Health Service after WWII, but directed its efforts to house those left homeless after 5 years of bombing from within the Ministry of Health.

In the 1980s, the notion of ‘care in the community’ put a political emphasis on health in the context of the home like never before. Today, our aging population will oblige us to tackle housing design in the future with a completely new set of health and wellbeing criteria in mind. In calling attention to this history and the current demographic trends of the Western world, this conference seeks to discuss the specific relationship between health and housing looking to the past, into the future and as it affects us now.


In today’s context, this relationship is increasing complicated, often overlooked and generally misrepresented. The effect of homelessness on health is well documented, but is one of the issues at play. Recent cases of multiple families – often but not always immigrants or refugees – packed into small unsanitary homes, raise other direct health issues. Some in the NHS are concerned by the numbers of NHS patients remaining in hospital, at the state’s expense, because their homes are unfit for health care needs.

Reflecting these and other concerns, this conference seeks to explore the health of housing from multiple angles including but not limited to: Design for health; Healthy homes, communities and cities; The politics and economics housing; Homelessness; Design for life; Promoting health agendas; Wellbeing and the built environment etc. These multiple issues will be organized into strands seeking to facilitate ‘joined-up’ thinking about design and health. Download a sample of outline themes.


Following the cross-disciplinary trend of the Housing – Critical Futures event and publication series, and the research conducted by UWE Department of Architecture, this conference brings together public health officials, doctors, government representatives, social scientists, cultural geographers, anthropologists, urban designers, planners, developers and architects. It underlines the issue of healthy housing and healthy cities, and seeks to place the historic link between housing and health back on today’s political, social, health and design agendas. Doing so now is a critical issue.

Highlight Notice – Film:

In particular, this event continues a collaboration between AMPS and the Public Health Film Society. It this welcomes proposals for film screenings, debates filtered through short film projects, and workshops that employ film as a medium to examine the relationship between health and housing.


Key Dates:

01 June 2017: Abstract Submission (Round 1)  |   15 June: Abstract Feedback *

30 October 2017: Abstract Submission (Round 2)  |   15 November: Abstract Feedback

10 January:  Registration closes

25-26 January 2018: Conference

01 March 2018: Full Paper Submissions (where applicable)

01 April 2018: Feedback for publication

30 June 2018: Publication of Full papers begins

* The early abstract submission date allows international delegates who need time to prepare travel plans to receive an early review decision.




The conference welcomes case studies; design proposals, research projects, investigative papers and theoretical considerations in various formats:

Adam Jones PhD1Conference Presentations (20 minutes)

Written Papers (3,000 words) *

Alternative Proposals Pecha Kucha; short films; photo essays etc.

In-person and virtual presentations (via pre-recorded video, Skype, etc.) are welcome.


Delegates are given the option to present their work at conference either with or without an accompanying full written paper. All abstracts and papers are fully double blind peer reviewed.

* 3,000 word papers will be published online in the AMPS conference proceedings series, ISSN 2398-9467. Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions of their papers for inclusion in either: 1. A Special Issues of the Architecture_MPS journal  |  2.  The AMPS / UCL Press book series Housing-Critical Futures  |  3. The AMPS / Libri Publishing book series Housing the Future.



Forms and Registration:

Delegate fee: £190

For more details:

Download Submission Form: Abstract Submission Form



Please send this fully completed document to  |  The document must be in Microsoft Word.  |  Subject line for emails: Abstract Submission UWE  |  File name for attachment: Name_Surname_Summary Title_UWE  |  Example file name: Charlie_Smith_Yet Another Apartment Block_UWE  |  Correctly formatted and named example: Charlie_Smith_Yet Another Apartment Block_Abstract UWE







This event is organised by the interdisciplinary research organisation AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society); its academic journal Architecture_MPS; and the University of the West of England.  It forms part of the AMPS program of events, Housing – Critical Futures.

For more details. Visit:

See other related CONFERENCES

Images: Guy Freedman; Banksy; Adam Jones