We are delighted to announce the publication of a new research article, “Mapping healthy planning frameworks,” authored by our dedicated team of experts at Healthy Cities in collaboration with the UK’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), University of East Anglia, and Teesside University. This study, recently featured in the scientific journal Perspectives in Public Health, reveals valuable insights into the world of healthy urban planning.
Aims and Methods
The primary objective of this research was to comprehensively map and analyse existing healthy planning frameworks, aiming to gain a deeper understanding of their diversity, composition, design, and implementation strategies. To achieve this, the team conducted a systematic scoping review while acknowledging certain limitations regarding date, location, and usability criteria. This review was further augmented by a thorough examination of grey literature.
The research led to the identification and analysis of 61 unique frameworks, shedding light on several key findings:
Focus on Specific Urban Elements: The majority of the identified frameworks tended to concentrate on particular aspects of the built environment, with active mobility, active environments, and transport being the most prevalent themes, accounting for 34% of the total frameworks.
Generalised Health Outcomes: Interestingly, a significant portion of these frameworks (40%) articulated their intended health outcomes in rather broad terms, instead of specifying precise health objectives.
Limited Public-Oriented Frameworks: Only a small proportion of the frameworks (12%) were designed with a focus on the general public, indicating a potential gap in engaging citizens and communities in urban health planning.
Lack of Evaluation Mechanisms: A mere 11% of the identified frameworks incorporated an evaluation component, underscoring the need for more comprehensive assessment processes.
In conclusion, this research has unveiled a diverse array of frameworks within the domain of healthy urban planning. However, it highlights several key limitations, such as the tendency for frameworks to narrow their focus on specific urban determinants, as well as the general lack of detailed health outcome targets. Furthermore, the limited provision for citizen and community use, along with the scarcity of ongoing evaluation processes, pose challenges in assessing the success and impact of these frameworks.
These findings offer valuable insights for policymakers, urban planners, and researchers in the field of urban health. By better understanding the existing frameworks and their limitations, we can work towards the development of more holistic and citizen-centred approaches to healthy urban planning.
For a more in-depth exploration of this research, we encourage you to access the full scientific article, “Mapping healthy planning frameworks,” and stay updated on our ongoing efforts to create healthier and more livable cities for all.