Harris P, Haigh F, Harris E. (2012) Incorporating health considerations in land-use planning and policy development: a review of activities in Stoke City Council in the UK and suggestions for application in NSW.
There has been increased interest in the relationship between health and the urban environment in recent years. However there has been limited knowledge about how to strategically develop collaborations between organisations which aim to influence ‘healthy’ planning practice. In Sydney, New South Wales, Australia an ongoing collaboration between the Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts and the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation at the University of New South Wales has been investigating the use of tools, processes and other ways to progress health and equity in urban focussed policy and planning. We have reviewed activities developed by ‘Stoke Healthy City’ in the U.K. to inform our work. The work in Stoke was intuitively appealing because of an explicit intention to work at multiple levels and with different tools and processes. These tools and activities are not particularly innovative in themselves. For example, the Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts already utilise HIA and health development checklists and have a long history of strong community engagement. However, what is unique about Stoke is that it has brought together a range of activities and tools that can be utilised at different stages within the planning and policy development process in order to mainstream the consideration of health into all levels of activity. Given the recent and upcoming changes to the land use and community strategic planning systems in New South Wales the activities detailed in this report provide practical examples of what is required to influence healthy urban planning and policy development.