About the Commission

Call for Evidence – Closed

The call for evidence ran for a period of 15 weeks and was open to everyone. Thank you to everyone who submitted, we will be in touch again shortly regarding the next steps for your contributions.

This consultation closed at
11:45pm UTC on 20 September 2021

The Commission on Creating Healthy Cities 


The Commission on Creating Healthy Cities is run by the Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. The Prince’s Foundation is an active partner in the Centre, and as such is co-hosting the Commission. The Commission will investigate the links between urban design and the risks to health and wellbeing, including infectious disease outbreaks, most immediately the Covid-19 crisis. 


With an ever-increasing proportion of the global population residing in densely populated urban environments it is vital to consider how city design and use impacts the health and wellbeing of residents, as well as the spread and severity of infectious disease outbreaks. The Commission will use evidence from past and ongoing global events to inform what shape urbanisation should take in the future and how to adapt existing urban infrastructure and communities to be more resilient to future outbreaks.  

Structure and way of working 

The Commission will take a holistic view of these issues, recognising the backdrop of the climate crisis, and taking full account of factors such as poverty and diversity. The target audience is the intersection between policy makers and practitioners in both the local and central governments in the UK and devolved administrations. This includes town planners, architects and urban designers as well as allied professions informing the creation of our built environment. 

The Commission will listen, learn and recommend. First listening to the problems and experiences of those who have been at the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, as an example of an infectious disease outbreak; learning from experts in the field; and making recommendations based on what has been learned. While the Commission will focus its recommendations on the UK context, it will need to look at the global context and evidence.  

Sub Groups 

Within that context, the Commission will form three working Sub Groups, each chaired by a Commissioner, and made up of active researchers and experts in the relevant field. These three Sub Groups will answer the main questions posed by The Commission on three themes: 

i. The built environment, design and place-making  

ii. Transport and movement, infrastructure and technology 

iii. Health and wellbeing 

Each Sub Group will consider their theme from three cross cutting perspectives, environmental, economic and social. These Sub Groups will meet three times and feed their evidence back to the Main Commission. 

International Advisory Board 

Working alongside the Main Commission and Sub Groups will be the International Advisory Board (IAB), whose role within The Commission is to ensure that there is opportunity to learn from how international communities are working towards healthy cities. The IAB will feed back their findings based on the questions posed by the Sub Groups and the evidence received from the international community. The IAB will pass on thoughts from civic leaders and academics from India, China, Latin America, Africa, USA, Europe and Australia.  

Within that context, the International Advisory Board will: 

  1. Liaise with the main commissioner board to provide a body of evidence and learning (including written and verbal reports) from their local contexts on areas including: 
  1. Identify key stakeholders from their local context who The Commission may want to contact,  
  1. Where appropriate and feasible, identify and propose projects that could inform the research outputs of the commission and the Global Centre for Healthcare and Urbanisation. 

Proposed outcome 

Whilst the ultimate outcome of The Commission on Creating Healthy Cities will be dependent on the evidence presented to Commission members and the following discussions, The Commission aims to achieve the following: Using evidence from the Sub Groups, International Advisory Board along with a general call for evidence, The Commission will aim to produce a Healthy Cities toolkit, by which those with a role to managing cities in the UK can score the health of their city and find ways to improve the health of their city from an environmental, social and economic point of view. This will help cities to become more resilient to the effects of current and future global and local infectious disease outbreaks. 

Proposed programme 

The Commission was launched in December 2020, and will aim to issue its Final Report and Recommendations within 18 months. The main Commission will meet four times: in April, July, and November 2021, concluding in Spring 2022. Sub Groups will meet three times in February, May, and October 2021.  

It is expected that the International Advisory Board will meet three times. First, in May 2021 to receive a report on the initial research and thinking of the Commission, to identify the key issues from their national and regional perspective, and to advise on future research and activity. Second, in September or October 2021 to discuss and advise on specific topics requested by the Commission. Finally, in Spring 2022 in order to review the Commission’s draft report.