Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Faculty of Environment and Technology

Abstract

There is increasing scientific evidence on what is now referred as the "social determinants of health" and on the need to understand the root causes of inequities. The imperative for action at local, national and even international level is higher on political agendas than ever to address social, economic, environmental aspects of our lives and examine policies that can affect our health.

The built environment and the way in which we design and build our communities is one key area identified by research as a "social determinant of health". Evidence shows now that the places where we spend our lives can have a profound impact on pour physical, mental, social, environmental and economic well being. Modern city planning in the Northern hemisphere was born towards the end of the 19th century: the establishment of urban sewage system and carefully designed street drainage as well as the design of public spaces and buildings emerged out of the need to address rapid and chaotic urbanisation and industrialisation and in particular to protect health, to promote sanitation and quality ambient air, and to prevent infestation. Yet, while public health and planning seem to be naturally complementary, the two professions that can contribute to the making of healthy sustainable communities, city planners and public health practitioners have developed in different paths along the 20th century with different epistemologies, governance and policies priorities and remit. Today, the lack of a shared knowledge base is impeding the reuniting of planning and health and the systematic consideration of health impact of planning decisions.

This seminar series will aim to offer a forum for academics and practitioners very active in this new field of research and practice to discuss the obstacles to reuniting planning and health and identifying workable and economically viable solutions. Three interlinked core themes of the seminar series have been identified by research as key to facilitate healthy planning:
1. Public health evidence for spatial planning: who should supply health evidence to planners and what should be the coverage, scale and presentation of public health evidence to meet the needs of
spatial planning?
2. The governance of health and planning: what are the key features of governance and policies to ensure the reuniting of health and planning priorities?
3. The development of a shared knowledge base through training and professional development: what type of training should be made available to future generations of healthy planners and communities, who should deliver it?

The series will bring together international academics and stakeholders to discuss these issues and identify solutions. Fora and research based projects do not usually give the opportunity for practitioners to inform research agenda from its inception. The series is built to ensure users' involvement for the whole duration of the project. While the debate aims to stimulate the sharing of international good practice and identifying future research agenda, it also aims to inform policy development in the UK and in Europe through the involvement of UK and European stakeholders and officers managing three programmes linked to the building of healthy communities, including WHO Healthy Cities, Public Health England's Healthy People-Healthy Places and the UK government's capacity building Big Local programme.

The overarching aim of the seminar series is therefore to identify how public health can inform planning practice by providing a foundation for innovative collaboration and effective communication between public health and planning academics, practitioners, policy-makers and educationists. Through debate and discussion, the seminar series will provide opportunity to move beyond existing silos and begin to establish strategies for policy integration and transdisciplinary field of healthy planning which can serve government and research agendas

Planned Impact

Below is the list of the main beneficiaries of the research and how they will benefit:

1. The investigators' immediate professional circle carrying out similar research: the seminar series will provide a forum for researchers to meet key practice stakeholders in the field and address the implementation gap in areas covered.

2. Local authorities in England: with the reintegration of public health responsibilities at local authority level, development of healthy planning agenda, health becoming a material consideration to planning application. They will help shape the seminar series agenda, exchange good practice. The seminar series will support capacity building. Dissemination will be through key health and planning networks already in place such as UK WHO healthy cities network, and integration of research findings in continuous professional development events and to which the PI and team have been associated in the past.

3.110 cities across Europe are participating the WHO Healthy Cities programme. They will benefit in the same way as English local authorities, but within a European setting. The WHO Collaborating Centre for healthy urban environment supports WHO Healthy Cities through training. It has also evaluated the progress of the programme towards the reuniting of health and planning. Evaluation of Phase 5 of the Healthy Cities programme has reinforced the fact that lack of suitable evidence, governance arrangement and training can be key barriers to the reuniting of health and planning despite the wealth of evidence demonstrating a strong link between built environment and health and wellbeing. The seminar series will offer a platform for programme managers and evaluators of phase 5 to debate and discuss the implementation gap in the field with international researchers, local authorities and other stakeholders.

4. Professional bodies, government agencies with a "healthy communities": including for instance Public Health England (PHE), executive agency of the Department of Health responsible for improving health and addressing inequalities. PHE will be involved in the seminar series from its inception. The findings of the research will inform PHE's guidance and future priorities. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is the professional body for the planning profession and accreditation body for planning courses. RTPI will be involved in steering the seminar series agenda and research questions to ensure that it suits the needs of planning practice. The RTPI will support the dissemination of research findings via its website and involvement in practice publications. The principal applicant is negotiating links with the RTPI website promoting policy, instruments and training towards the reuniting of health and planning. The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is the standard setting body for specialists in public health in the United Kingdom and is the accreditation body for public health courses. Like the RTPI, it supports the reuniting of planning and health and the development of a shared knowledge base. It will also be involved in shaping the seminar series detailed programme so it supports the realisation of its ambitions.

7. Private sector: consultancies involved in working across public health, sustainability and planning They are key stakeholders which have developed tools and advise local authorities. Ben Cave Associates for instance has been approached to contribute to seminars, discussing good practice, tools supporting health impact assessment of planning projects, programmes or policies and training needs.

8. Social entreprises and charities involved in community and urban regeneration and capacity building. They are also indirect beneficiaries of the seminar series, for instance through the Big Local agenda which aims to empower local communities in 150 areas around England. RENAISI Ltd has been approached. It will work to implement BIG Local and deliver capacity building.
 
Description The seminar series identified the challenges faced by the English (urban) spatial planning system to become an enabler of urban health and explored some keys features of the evidence base, policy tools and policy implementation issues that urban planners need to be aware of to become health enablers. It drew on good practice presented during the seminar series involving over 500 academic researchers and practitioners between 2015 and 2017. A number of key recommendations emerged out of the project. First, planning and health agendas must align at the local level. Second, the evidence base of health priorities must be locally relevant. Third, robust tools can support the creation of frameworks for delivering health outcomes through planning. And finally, adequate resources are necessary to develop the capacity of key place-making stakeholders.
Exploitation Route Current land development process hinders the consideration of health in planning, but the seminar series found that the reuniting of health and planning can be promoted by a number of stakeholders:
Local authorities' planning and public health teams can collaborate to ensure that public health evidence is translated into actionable healthy planning principles. Academics and practising planners must make the economic case for healthy design to challenge assumptions made within developers' 'viability' assessments. Local planning policies can help thwart the private sector weakening standards by strengthening their local planning standards and principles. Cross sector partnership and capacity building are key resources of healthy planning. The PI was involved in the NHS England Healthy new towns programme to promote these findings. In addition, the findings were presented in various national and international WHO healthy cities conference to support the take up of healthy standards, principles, tools and policy across the WHO Europe region.
Sectors Construction,Environment,Healthcare,Transport,Other

 
Description While ongoing, the seminar series has contributed to fostering a dialogue between public health and planning sectors. Public Health England South West has approached the WHO Collaborating Centre to deliver a short training programme for their planning and public health team. There has also been interest from local authorities and PHE South West in promoting UWE's Master's level module on Health Impact Assessment to regional public health and planning teams to build local capacity. The interest from national professional organisations in the seminar series is demonstrated in the publication of two practice based article in TCPA journal and in Urban Design Journal. A refereed publication has been accepted in Land Use Policy. Since the end of the project, the WHO CC has made more formal links with some of the organisations who contributed to the seminar series. In particular, visiting professorships and fellowships were given to TCPA, RTPI and PHE practitioners. These visiting titles reflected the deepening of the network started during the seminar series. Projects and publications are being planned. In 2018, the PI was asked to contribute to a Regional Health Impact Assessment working group set up by PHE (one of the co-Is) to raise the awareness and develop a policy document guidance that all local authorities in the SW England could endorse. This work is on-going and should be completed around December 2018. Learning from the seminar series (in particular seminar on HIA) will inform this regional work. Collaboration have also developed thanks to the seminar series between the PI and a key national stakeholders in HIA who contributed to the seminar series (Public Health Wales and the Welsh HIA Support Unit) with formal links (eg title of visiting fellow) being established. The PI was invited to kickstart the mainstreaming of health into planning policy at West Berkshire Council (one of the Seminars' participants) and talks are ongoing to develop a series of CPD seminars to implement the reuniting health with planning agenda. The PI has also gained some positions on steering boards to promote or develop the research and dissemination agenda in the field of healthy planning (eg 2018 PHE-Sports England international conference; Futurebuild (large trade conference at Excel London) urban infrastructure programme steering group; NHS England's Healthy New Towns list of expert to review future publication).
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Education,Healthcare,Other
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Evidence contribution to the report of the House of Lords Ad Hoc Select Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldbuilt/100/10002
 
Description Oral evidence to the all Party Parliamentary Group on Design and Innovation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/27373
 
Description Private Briefing to the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the built Environment (07/2015)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/26592
 
Description Private Briefing to the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the built Environment (11/2015)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/27750
 
Description Training for public health and planning teams in South West England commissioned by Public Health England South West
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Healthy People Healthy Places Evidence Tool
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Public Health England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
 
Title Reuniting planning and health: Tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Description carmichael, L. and Townshend, T. and Lock, K. and Fischer, T. and Sweeting, D. and Petrokofsky, C. (2017) Reuniting planning and health: Tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge. UWE, http://researchdata.uwe.ac.uk/203. The dataset is composed of agendas, presentations and round table report collected during the project life. These presentations offered the background for structured discussion between different disciplines around the issues of evidence, governance and knowledge of healthy planning,The eight seminars covered each a key implementation challenge of the reuniting health and planning agenda. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The dataset informed a refereed article currently being drafted. The dataset helped informed a MSc Urban Planning module Healthy Cities. The networking involved in the collection of the dataset also helped academics develop links with practitioners. Impact has been described in the 3 months report. 
URL http://researchdata.uwe.ac.uk/203
 
Description Collaboration on the development of a Wellcome Trust bid 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through collaboration in the current project, we were able to work together as part of another collaboration to the Wellcome Trust under the Our Planet, Our Health call to support the development of an HIA and examine the impact of the built environment on health within a large £10 million project.
Collaborator Contribution Contributed to the development of the expression of interest and second stage submission.
Impact None yet, although collaboration is multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ESRC funded seminar series- Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a member of this collaboration funded by ESRC grant ES/M001733/1. I have collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines in other English Universities in designing and delivering a series of seminars to to bring together research and practice between health and urban planning practitioners and academics. I have contributed to leading the delivery of one seminar, and to contributing to the others via presentations and discussions. We have disseminated the outputs via publications in practitioner journals and websites.
Collaborator Contribution University of the West of England lead and coordinate this collaboration. The other partners collaborate to deliver the series of seminars.
Impact - Presentation by Laurence Carmichael (UWE, lead of collaboration) to the House of Lords Select Committee on Planning. - Publication in the Town and Country Planning Association Journal.Laurence Carmichael, Karen Lock, David Sweeting, Tim Townshend and Thomas Fischer: Reuniting the evidence base for health and planning -lessons from an ESRC seminar series. TCPA November 2016.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ESRC funded seminar series- Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a member of this collaboration funded by ESRC grant ES/M001733/1. I have collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines in other English Universities in designing and delivering a series of seminars to to bring together research and practice between health and urban planning practitioners and academics. I have contributed to leading the delivery of one seminar, and to contributing to the others via presentations and discussions. We have disseminated the outputs via publications in practitioner journals and websites.
Collaborator Contribution University of the West of England lead and coordinate this collaboration. The other partners collaborate to deliver the series of seminars.
Impact - Presentation by Laurence Carmichael (UWE, lead of collaboration) to the House of Lords Select Committee on Planning. - Publication in the Town and Country Planning Association Journal.Laurence Carmichael, Karen Lock, David Sweeting, Tim Townshend and Thomas Fischer: Reuniting the evidence base for health and planning -lessons from an ESRC seminar series. TCPA November 2016.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ESRC funded seminar series- Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a member of this collaboration funded by ESRC grant ES/M001733/1. I have collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines in other English Universities in designing and delivering a series of seminars to to bring together research and practice between health and urban planning practitioners and academics. I have contributed to leading the delivery of one seminar, and to contributing to the others via presentations and discussions. We have disseminated the outputs via publications in practitioner journals and websites.
Collaborator Contribution University of the West of England lead and coordinate this collaboration. The other partners collaborate to deliver the series of seminars.
Impact - Presentation by Laurence Carmichael (UWE, lead of collaboration) to the House of Lords Select Committee on Planning. - Publication in the Town and Country Planning Association Journal.Laurence Carmichael, Karen Lock, David Sweeting, Tim Townshend and Thomas Fischer: Reuniting the evidence base for health and planning -lessons from an ESRC seminar series. TCPA November 2016.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ESRC funded seminar series- Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Organisation University of Newcastle
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a member of this collaboration funded by ESRC grant ES/M001733/1. I have collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines in other English Universities in designing and delivering a series of seminars to to bring together research and practice between health and urban planning practitioners and academics. I have contributed to leading the delivery of one seminar, and to contributing to the others via presentations and discussions. We have disseminated the outputs via publications in practitioner journals and websites.
Collaborator Contribution University of the West of England lead and coordinate this collaboration. The other partners collaborate to deliver the series of seminars.
Impact - Presentation by Laurence Carmichael (UWE, lead of collaboration) to the House of Lords Select Committee on Planning. - Publication in the Town and Country Planning Association Journal.Laurence Carmichael, Karen Lock, David Sweeting, Tim Townshend and Thomas Fischer: Reuniting the evidence base for health and planning -lessons from an ESRC seminar series. TCPA November 2016.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ESRC funded seminar series- Reuniting planning and health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Organisation University of the West of England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a member of this collaboration funded by ESRC grant ES/M001733/1. I have collaborated with colleagues from a range of disciplines in other English Universities in designing and delivering a series of seminars to to bring together research and practice between health and urban planning practitioners and academics. I have contributed to leading the delivery of one seminar, and to contributing to the others via presentations and discussions. We have disseminated the outputs via publications in practitioner journals and websites.
Collaborator Contribution University of the West of England lead and coordinate this collaboration. The other partners collaborate to deliver the series of seminars.
Impact - Presentation by Laurence Carmichael (UWE, lead of collaboration) to the House of Lords Select Committee on Planning. - Publication in the Town and Country Planning Association Journal.Laurence Carmichael, Karen Lock, David Sweeting, Tim Townshend and Thomas Fischer: Reuniting the evidence base for health and planning -lessons from an ESRC seminar series. TCPA November 2016.
Start Year 2014
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Newcastle
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description NIHR School for Public Health Research 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NIHR funded School for Public Health Research, was initially funded for 5 years from 1st April 2012, with funding extended now until 31st March 2022. It is collaboration of 8 Partners, and at LSHTM we have led and contributed to a wide range of projects focusing on evaluating local public health interventions and policies.
Collaborator Contribution All partners co-lead on various work programmes.
Impact See website link above for full outputs and details
Start Year 2012
 
Description Visiting Professorship 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Offered Dr Anne Marie Connolly a Visiting Professorship within the WHO Collaborating Centre at UWE.
Collaborator Contribution As a result of this project, Dr Anne Marie Connolly has agreed to become a Visiting Professor at the WHO collaborating Centre to support the development of the reuniting health and planning health agenda in terms of research and knowledge transfer to practice .
Impact ollaboration with PHE has led to the commissioning of an evidence review of the impact the built environment on health in five areas: transport natural and sustainable environment, housing, neighbourhood design, healthy food and transport.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Contribution to the Guardian's Roundtable Discussion on How do we Create Healthy Cities? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Invited as expert to contribute to a Guardian's Roundtable Discussion on How do we create healthy cities? The WHO Collaborating Centre at UWE was mentioned several times. Numerous contributions at the event were from the ESRC series, showing a direct link between this project's engagement and dissemination to multiple stakeholders and the wider public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2016/jan/13/diabetes-the-scourge-of-city-living
 
Description Policy engagement with senior UK policymakers in Health, Housing and Planning agenda 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a high level policy workshop held in the House of Commons in November 2016. 20 politicians, English national civil servants, other National policy organisations and NGO's came together with academics to forward the health, housing and planning agenda.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Roundtable in the Houses of Parliament to consider implementation of a House of Lords' Select Committee report "Building Better Places" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Activity and intended purpose: The roundtable offered an opportunity for a broad range of key national organisations from health and urban planning sectors (RTPI, TCPA, PHE, NHS England, BRE), academics, policy-makers and politicians (Chair of Select Committee, peer, Cabinet Office), officers in local authorities to consider various challenges and opportunities to deliver healthy planning practices and healthy environments.

Outcome/impact: raising the profile of joint working public health/planning at national level -
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/et/research/who/seminarseries/seminar6.aspx
 
Description Six seminars on Re-uniting Planning and Health: tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Description of activity: The consortium has run five seminars exploring three interlinked core themes:

Public health evidence for spatial planning: who should supply health evidence to planners and what should be the coverage, scale and presentation of public health evidence to meet the needs of spatial planning?
The governance of health and planning: what are the key features of governance and policies to ensure the reuniting of health and planning priorities?
The development of a shared knowledge base through training and professional development: what type of training should be made available to future generations of healthy planners and communities, who should deliver it?

Purpose of activity: the seminar series offered an ongoing dialogue between research and practice in the healthy planning field and helped identify a future agenda for research and capacity building.

Impact/outcomes: networking among practitioners and academics, inform policy-makers at local authority levels, promotion of cross sector working (public health/planning), development of training opportunities with Public Health England, dissemination of seminar findings in journal for practitioners (Town and Country Planning Association Journal; Urban Design Journal (Design Council).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/et/research/who/seminarseries.aspx