A city in good shape Town planning and public health
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In light of the matters raised by this issue of CONTESTI, within a necessary trans-disciplinary perspective on research and practices to conceive and implement healthier urban settings, we have chosen to republish a contribution by Michael Hebbert entitled “A City in Good Shape. Town planning and public health,” which appeared in 1999 in The Town Planning Review. A historian by training and an urban planner by vocation, Hebbert traces in this paper some of the milestones of the very close relationships that link the discipline of urbanism to that of public health, emphasizing how the centrality of the city and its characteristics in the health debate has been gradually lost over time, and therefore the fundamental need to find a way back to a shared path. Do town planning and public health now point towards a third paradigm?, the Author asks. If so, it draws dialectically upon what has gone before. Let us learn, then, from the good practices and radical ideas of the past, to move toward an increasingly urban, but necessarily healthier, more sustainable and humane future