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)
Draft Residential Densities Strategy Mackay: Health Impact Assessment
Carless, F. & Gunning, C. (2011). Draft Residential Densities Strategy Mackay: Health Impact Assessment. Mackay Public Health Unit, Queensland Health: Mackay.
The Mackay Regional Council area is one of the fastest growing in Queensland, with strong growth forecast over the coming decades. Managing the challenges associated with high population growth is one of the drivers of Council’s Draft Residential Densities Strategy which outlines its vision for more compact urban areas within the region.
Recognition of the relationship between land use planning and health is not new and nationally there is much interest in translating this knowledge into practice. A tool which has emerged to contribute to this practice is Health Impact Assessment (HIA), a process which engages decision makers to consider health impacts in their planning, policy and program deliberations. To identify indirect health impacts that may be associated with the Draft Residential Densities Strategy, Queensland Health initiated a Health Impact Assessment with assistance from the Department of Communities, Mackay Regional Council and the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation. Using a rapid HIA process, including collection of data via literature review and stakeholder consultation, and development of a population profile, the HIA project team generated a set of recommendations.
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)
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.
Housing density and health: A review of the literature and Health Impact Assessments
Haigh, F., Ng Chok, H. & Harris, P. (2011). Housing density and health: A review of the literature and Health Impact Assessments. Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), University of New South Wales: Sydney.
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.
Matthias K, Harris-Roxas B. Process and Impact Evaluation of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Health Impact Assessment, BMC Public Health, 9:97, 2009
Greater Granville Regeneration Strategy Health Impact Assessment
Sydney West Area Health Service, NSW Depart of Housing & Parramatta City Council
Urban regeneration is a complex, multifaceted process which has the potential to transform Granville, a relatively disadvantaged suburb located close to the centre of Sydney in the local government area of Parramatta. For the community of Granville it raises concerns of increased densification, and creates expectations of improvements for this historic suburb.
Parramatta City Council and NSW Department of Housing have formed a formal partnership to facilitate a collaborative approach to urban renewal. The regeneration of Granville was a project initiated under this partnership agreement. Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) became involved for the purpose of conducting a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the urban regeneration strategy and to participate in a whole of government and whole of community context.
Greater Western Sydney Urban Development Health Impact Assessment
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd
This HIA examines potential effects on population health and wellbeing of planned population growth and urban development in Greater Western Sydney (GWS) over the next twenty five years. During this time the population of Sydney is expected to increase by 1.1 million people, 600,000 of whom are anticipated to settle in GWS. This population increase will be accompanied by large scale development of housing, transport, employment and social infrastructure; all changes that can potentially affect the health and wellbeing of new residents and people living across the region.
How this growth is to be managed, in terms of where people live, the transport and other infrastructure that is provided, along with a range of other issues, has a major bearing on the level and type of health impact. Accordingly, this project specifically analyses the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy (2005). Past patterns of growth for Sydney are also reviewed as are other recent comparable metropolitan plans, in order to provide differing perspectives on the planning process and what are reasonable goals and targets to set.
Harris P, Harris-Roxas B, Harris E, Kemp L. Health impact assessment and urbanization: lessons from the NSW HIA project. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin. May/June; 18(9-10): 198-201
Social Impact Assessment of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy
Hunter New England Area Health Service & NSW Premier’s Department
The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy prepared by the Department of Planning identifies how development in the region will be managed on a sustainable basis over the next 25 years. The Strategy, projecting a population increase of 125 000 people, has the potential to influence the health and social well-being of the community and the equitable access to, and distribution of services across the region.
In order to ensure that further disadvantage is not created by the implementation of the Strategy, the Hunter Regional Coordination Management Group, comprising of senior representatives of state government agencies from the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, completed an equity-focused Social Impact Assessment of the Strategy. A draft version of the Strategy was released for public comment on 4 November 2005 and the Social Impact Assessment was produced in response to this release.