HCD 2021: Core themes and streams

As is customary for such a unique interdisciplinary event, Healthy City Design 2021 will feature a wide range of congress streams, in addition to this year’s plenary theme of ‘Back from the brink: Designing for climate, community and social value’.


HCD 2021 International Congress & Exhibition is a global forum for the exchange of knowledge on the research, policy and practice of designing healthy and sustainable cities and communities.


Attendees will develop their knowledge of the political, social and economic context, new policy directions, emerging practice, latest research findings, and skills and core competencies in designing, planning and commissioning city services, technology, infrastructure and real estate that improve people and planetary health. We are delighted to invite you to submit abstracts on the following core themes and streams.


Plenary theme

  • Back from the brink: Designing for climate, community and social value


Congress streams

  • Pandemic resilience and renewal: Visioning the future post-Covid city
  • Homes and neighbourhoods: Design to improve community wellbeing and residents’ life chances
  • Urban design, placemaking and mental health: Urban strategies to reduce health inequalities and improve mental health and social cohesion
  • Mobility, travel and transport: Radical design approaches to active and sustainable travel
  • Smart cities and urban tech: Scaling innovation in urban systems to create health
  • Planetary health: Reducing the ecological footprint of cities and capitalising on the health co-benefits
  • Work and workplace: Safe, healthy and sustainable environments to support flexible working lives

View and download the full Call for Papers and Abstract Guidelines.

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The Healthy City Design International Congress & Exhibition attracts the world’s leading interdisciplinary policy thinkers, researchers and practitioners. The congress will be of interest to:

  • City governance and policy
  • Urban designers and planners
  • Real estate developers
  • Commercial property investors
  • Sustainability practitioners
  • Academics and researchers
  • Architects and designers
  • Engineers and surveyors
  • Health/social care planners
  • Public health practitioners
  • Occupational therapists
  • Business/technology leaders
  • Senior public servants
  • Environmental groups
  • Economists
  • House builders


Abstract guidelines

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of 400 words in English for any of the following: a) themed paper; b) poster; c) workshop.


The abstract should clearly state the background, purpose, methods, results and conclusions/implications. Presentations in all three formats can be focused on any of research, practice or theory. See here for more detailed Abstract Guidelines.


Each presentation will be delivered to an interdisciplinary audience, and each stream carefully curated to encourage an informed dialogue. Papers addressing more than one of the congress themes will be given preference. All abstracts will be subject to a rigorous blind peer-review process by the HCD 2021 programme committee. A carefully selected number will be chosen for oral presentation with a wider number presented as posters.


Proposals must be submitted using the abstract proposal form, available at www.healthycitydesign.global and MUST include the following:

  • a) presentation type (themed paper, poster or workshop);
  • b) knowledge focus (research, practice or theory);
  • c) congress theme (plenary or stream);
  • d) title, author(s), organisational affiliation, and three keywords.


The abstracts of the papers selected for presentation will
be published in the Final Programme. Please note: the author(s)
and/or co-author(s) are required to register and pay the registration fee to participate and present the paper at the congress. However, owing to the global pandemic, the form of this year’s congress is under continuous review, with the prospect that the congress will be held online using digital formats, as well as or instead of the physical event. We therefore encourage submissions for remote digital presentation as well as ‘in person’ attendance. The registration model will also be adjusted accordingly in these circumstances. Further guidance on the format will be available at a later date prior to publication of the preliminary programme.


Full edited versions of the papers and videos may be published
on the SALUS Global Knowledge Exchange at www.salus.global following the congress. No paper will be published without the author’s consent. Papers can also be submitted to Cities & Health Journal for peer-review publication, edited by programme committee member Marcus Grant. For more information, visit: www.healthycitydesign.global


More information on the conference venue, hotel accommodation and registration fee will be available at www.healthycitydesign.global closer to the event. All abstracts should be submitted online by the extended deadline of 18 June 2021.


Any enquiries should be sent by e-mail to info@salus.global.