Health Impact Assessment
for large-scale urban planning
In this era of obesity, pollution and flood-risk, health is re-emerging in urban planning as a central concern.
In the UK, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 moved responsibility for public health to local authorities via newly established Health and Wellbeing Boards. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has health as a core theme and the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) recommends use of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). There is no prescribed format for HIA, though there are emerging best practice guidelines.
db+a offer Rapid, Intermediate and Comprehensive HIA. We focus purely on helping to create healthier medium-large scale mixed use/residential urban developments and urban area plans/policy documents (as opposed to single use infrastructure projects). Our method of Comprehensive HIA, which we call PRISMAPPRAISAL, can integrate fully with stakeholder engagement and any other appraisal methods required (e.g. Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, BREEAM for Communities).
We work closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Centre for Healthy Urban Environments (CHUE) at the University West of England (UWE) in Bristol, European Green Capital 2015. Over the last decade they have been pioneers in the renewed integration of public health and urban planning. They authored 'Shaping Neighbourhoods: For Local Health and Global Sustainability', the leading guidance on neighbourhood-scale urban planning, contributing significantly to UWE being a leading knowledge centre in this area. They also developed the Health Map (above right) - a major conceptual development now used in guidance documents by Public Health England, Homes and Communities Agency, Town and Country Planning Association and Bristol City Council. It gives a spatial dimension to the original social determinants of health model developed by Dalgren and Whitehead 25 years ago. It encouraged the World Health Organisation to embrace urban planners as significant actors in healthy urban development. Over the last ten years they have developed on ten lives projects a pioneering new approach to the integration of health and sustainability into urban development planning: the Spectrum Approach to Sustainability Appraisal, on which PRISMAPPRAISAL is based.
Having received grant funding from InnovateUK in 2014 we are now finalising the development of an online Automated Event Management Systems - PRISMAEMS - tailored specifically to PRISMAPPRAISAL, which substantially reduces administration and logistical costs associated with comprehensive and inclusive health and sustainability appraisal.
"Obesity costs the UK £47bn a year"
McKinsey & Co., (2014)
"OECD members would be willing to pay $1.7 trillion to prevent the 3.5 million annual deaths from air pollution. Road transport is likely responsible for about half of those deaths."