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Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit

Established in 2001, the Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit aims to support the holistic and integrated development of healthy settings – acknowledging that “health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love” (WHO, 1986) and that many health challenges are interrelated and can be best tackled through comprehensive, integrated programmes in the contexts and places where people live their lives.

Bridging research, policy and practice, the unit has a global reputation and is concerned to facilitate ecological approaches to health and wellbeing within and across a diversity of organisational and geographical settings – and to increase understanding of ‘what works and why’ in different contexts.

 The unit’s work is informed by:

  • a focus on salutogenesis – going beyond illness to explore the creation of wellbeing and foster potentials that enable individuals and populations to flourish
  • a willingness to engage with and embrace complexity
  • a concern to work with and manage change in whole systems
  • a commitment to participation, empowerment and co-creation
  • the imperative of connecting health, equity and sustainable development – appreciating that human health is dependent on social, economic and ecological justice, and closely interwoven with the health of the planet.

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