News from ISGlobal
In spite of the fact that urban and transport planning decisions have direct repercussions on public health, this impact is generally not quantified or taken into account, partly because of the lack of appropriate models or tools for this purpose. In a recently published article, ISGlobal researchers propose a new model for assessing the health impacts of urban planning, which combines citizen participation and quantitative models.
Health impact assessment (HIA) is one of the main instruments used to inform the decision making process with scientific evidence and to introduce health-related criteria into all policies. It comprises a set of tools used to analyse the potential effects of a policy, programme or project on the health of the population and the distribution of such effects.
The authors of the study, which was published in Environment International, emphasise that HIA has to be multidisciplinary, involve all the major stakeholders and have active citizen support at all stages. Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, director of ISGlobal’s Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative and lead author of the study, makes the point that “a great deal of scientific literature underscores the importance of citizen participation in improving urban planning”.
Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, Haneen Khreis, Ersilia Verlinghieri, Natalie Mueller, David Rojas-Rueda. Participatory quantitative health impact assessment of urban and transport planning in cities: A review and research needs. Environ Int. 2017 Jun;103:61-72.