Criteria of Healthfulness in Urban Environments: From a Theoretical Debate to Some Early Experiments
Policies regarding public health, the environment, and urban planning present in many European countries today are still mostly partitioned, as are the economic resources made available by the central governments. It is necessary to change the paradigm and integrate all the different aspects of health and quality of life of residents and city users to define the physical space of the city and ensure that financial resources from different sources can be integrated. To do this, it is necessary to understand the factors that influence an individual’s state of health and, more broadly, the health of a community or population, and how urban space relates to them. Briefly, the so-called “determinants of health” need to be understood. Experimentation should be considered as a necessary action to increase awareness of the relationships between urban planning and determinants of health, along with evaluations of the impact of urban plans and projects on health and the quality of life in cities. Experimentation in the URBACT II PIC Program “Building Healthy Communities” has moved along these lines.
KeywordsPublic health Healthfulness Urban environment Determinants of health Theoretical debate Urban experimentation
- CSDH. (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. World Health Organization: Geneva. whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241563703_eng.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2017.
- Harpet, C., & Roué Le Gall, A. (2013). Évolution de la prise en compte de l’environnement et de la santé dans le champ de l’urbanisme. Environnement, Risques et Santé, 12, 231–241.Google Scholar
- MSSS. (2010). Plan Stratégique 2010–2015. http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/document-000295/. Accessed June 1, 2017.
- WHO Regional Office for Europe, UN City. (2013). Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region: Final report. www.euro.who.int/__…/Review-of-social-determinants-and-the-health-divide-in-the-W. Accessed June 1, 2017.