Including health in environmental impact assessments: is an institutional approach useful for practice?
Harris PJ, Haigh F: Including health in environmental impact assessments: is an institutional approach useful for practice? Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 2015:1-7.
Internationally the inclusion of health within environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been shown to be limited. While health-focused research has focused on the technical provision of health information, policy analysis theory may enable description and explanation of the institutional conditions surrounding health inclusion in EIA. However, whether this framework is considered useful by practitioners has yet to be tested. To investigate this, data were collected via a workshop (n = 22) and the results were analysed using ?Institutionalist? units of analysis (ideas, actors, organisations and institutions). These results were then emailed to participants who were asked to undertake a follow-up survey about the analysis and approach (n = 9). The workshop results suggested various influences on how and why health is considered or not in EIAs. Overall the survey respondents agreed that the approach was conceptually and practically useful but that the framework alone is insufficient and further work is needed to convince potential users of the value of health in EIA. The findings support the need for more detailed research.
Housing, Health and Master Planning: rules of engagement
Harris P, Haigh F, Thornell M, Molloy L, Sainsbury P. Housing, Health and Master Planning: rules of engagement. Public Health 2014http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2014.01.006
Objectives: Knowledge about health focussed policy collaboration to date has been either tactical or technical. This article focusses on both technical and tactical issues to describe the experience of cross-sectoral collaboration between health and housing stakeholders across the life of a housing masterplan, including but not limited to a health impact assessment(HIA).
Study design: A single explanatory case study of collaboration on a master plan to regenerate a deprived housing estate in Western Sydney was developed to explain why and how the collaboration worked or did not work. Methods: Data collection included stakeholder interviews, document review, and reflections by the health team. Following a realist approach, data was analysed against established public policy theory dimensions.
Results: Tactically we did not know what we were doing. Despite our technical knowledge and skills with health focussed processes, particularly HIA, we failed to appreciate complexities inherent in master planning. This limited our ability to provide information at the right points. Eventually however the HIA did provide substantive connections between the master plan and health. We use our analysis to develop technical and tactical rules of engagement for future cross-sectoral collaboration.
Conclusions: This case study from the field provides insight for future health focussed policy collaboration. We demonstrate the technical and tactical requirements for future intersectoral policy and planning collaborations, including HIAs, with the housing sector on master planning. The experience also suggested how HIAs can be conducted flexibly alongside policy development rather than at a specific point after a policy is drafted.
Villawood East Master Plan HIA
Villawood East is a public housing estate in Western Sydney, established during the early 1950s and in need of improvement. NSW Finance and Services and NSW Family & Community Services are developing a Master Plan for the Villawood East area. The key objectives of the Master Plan are to:
- Reduce the concentration of public housing and increase the availability of affordable housing.
- Enhance the urban structure.
- Enable the formulation of detailed planning controls to achieve high quality urban design outcomes.
In 2008 Housing NSW , Sydney and Sydney South West Local Health Districts and the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation formed the Health and Housing Partnership. The vision of the housing and health partnership is working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of South West Sydney. As part of the partnership’s strategic development, in late 2010 it was decided to follow the planning process for the Master Plan being developed for Villawood East. Health would collaborate with housing NSW across the process to understand the points where health could usefully add value to that process. This health impact assessment (HIA) forms part of this
- Villawood East Master Plan HIA (print version)
- Villawood East Master Plan HIA (screen version)
- Villawood East Master Plan Literature Review (print version)
- Villawood East Master Plan Literature Review (screen version)
Villawood East HIA Literature Review: Housing Estate Redevelopment and Health
Villawood East is a housing estate in South Western Sydney, NSW, Australia. It was built as a public housing estate, mostly during the early 1950s. The estate has been identified as being in need of improvement; the housing is of a low standard and in need of upgrading and is considered unsuitable for the current and future population. NSW Finance and Services and NSW Family & Community Services are developing a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the Villawood East area.
A HIA of the Master Plan has been carried out collaboratively by the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), Population Health South Western Sydney & Sydney Local Health Districts, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation HIA .
Ben Cave Associates were commissioned to carry out a literature review to inform the HIA focussing on the scoped areas of health impact: mental health, social cohesion, access to services and access to good quality space / urban design.
- Villawood East HIA Literature Review (print version)
- Villawood East Literature Review (screen version)
Health Impact Assessment of the Redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital
Sydney South West Area Health Service
A Steering Committee was established in July 2006 to conduct a prospective HIA on the Redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital. The focus of this project was on the construction phase of the redevelopment and the scope covered four issues – reduced parking for staff, patients and visitors; health and wellbeing of staff and the community; community and patient safety (non-traffic related); and increased traffic in the area (general and construction traffic). Recommendations were developed for the Executive User Group (EUG) and these are currently being monitored by the EUG.
In August 2007, the Executive User Group (EUG) for the Liverpool Hospital Redevelopment endorsed the conduct of a second Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for the redevelopment. The scope for the HIA was defined as being environmental effects; health promoting effects and effects on patient recovery and staff wellbeing. The current status of the redevelopment in August 2008 determined that we should focus on developing recommendations for the detailed design and commissioning phases of the project. An EFHIA was chosen for this project because it was thought that the most value that could be added at these stages of the design process would be to focus on a consideration of equity issues related to the redevelopment. This consideration is most relevant to the Liverpool Hospital Redevelopment
- Phase 1 HIA Report
- Phase 2 Equity Focussed HIA
- Journal Article: HIA in Urban Settings
- Journal Article: HIA of Construction Phase of Hospital Redevelopment
Flinders Street Redevelopment Project (Townsville) HIA
Queensland Health Tropical Population Health Services
In November 2008 a Rapid Desktop Health Impact Assessment was conducted on the Flinders Street Redevelopment project by the Health Promotion Service of the Tropical Population Health Services, Population Health Queensland. The identified health determinants were safety and security, access for all ages and abilities, social connectedness, participation and identity.
Oran Park and Turner Road Health Impact Assessment
Sydney South West Area Health Service and Camden City Council
In May 2007, the NSW Government released detailed draft plans to develop 12,000 new homes in Sydney’s south-west – with construction to start as early as 2008 in Oran Park and Turner Road. It is anticipated that these plans will create healthy communities for families, with a mix of housing, jobs, schools, parks, transport, community facilities and shops. These precincts will offer a choice of accommodation including houses, terraces and units, to cater for singles, families and seniors. The Oran Park & Turner Road precincts are expected to provide 7,700 new jobs for Western Sydney – helping to achieve a key State Plan priority of more jobs close to home. Oran Park and Turner Road precincts are located in the Camden Local Government Area (LGA).
Sydney South West Area Health Service (SSWAHS) has been involved in the Greater Western Sydney Urban Development HIA with Western Sydney Region of Councils (WSROC) and Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS), which assessed aspects of the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. The Oran Park &Turner Road Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is seen as a valuable extension and application of this previous project.