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Integration of health into urban spatial planning through impact assessment: Identifying governance and policy barriers and facilitators

Carmichael, Laurence; Barton, Hugh; Gray, Selena; Lease, Helen; Pilkington, Paul


Hugh Barton

Helen Lease


This article presents the results of a review of literature examining the barriers and facilitators in integrating health in spatial planning at the local, mainly urban level, through appraisals. Our literature review covered the UK and non UK experiences of appraisals used to consider health issues in the planning process. We were able to identify four main categories of obstacles and facilitators including first the different knowledge and conceptual understanding of health by different actors/stakeholders, second the types of governance arrangements, in particular partnerships, in place and the political context, third the way institutions work, the responsibilities they have and their capacity and resources and fourth the timeliness, comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of the appraisal process. The findings allowed us to draw some lessons on the governance and policy framework regarding the integration of health impact into spatial planning, in particular considering the pros and cons of integrating health impact assessment (HIA) into other forms of impact assessment of spatial planning decisions such as environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environment assessment (SEA). In addition, the research uncovered a gap in the literature that tends to focus on the mainly voluntary HIA to assess health outcomes of planning decisions and neglect the analysis of regulatory mechanisms such as EIA and SEA. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Carmichael, L., Barton, H., Gray, S., Lease, H., & Pilkington, P. (2012). Integration of health into urban spatial planning through impact assessment: Identifying governance and policy barriers and facilitators. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 32(1), 187-194.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 3, 2011
Publicly Available Date Apr 6, 2016
Journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Print ISSN 0195-9255
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 1
Pages 187-194
Keywords human health, spatial planning, impact assessment, policy integration, development planning
Public URL
Publisher URL


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