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Living cities : reconnecting environmental health and urban planning

Thomas Verbeek (UGent)
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Abstract
While public health and urban planning were closely linked in the past, the relation has turned into a lock-in of two procedurally interrelated, but in fact disconnected domains of knowledge and action. In most cases, health intersects with spatial planning processes only through obligatory evaluations or restrictive environmental legislation. This institutionalization of health criteria in most western countries has difficulty in dealing with the rapidly changing spatial conditions of our complex society, the growing awareness of environmental impacts and the increasing empowerment and engagement of citizens. This dissertation aims to move beyond this lock-in and explores new approaches to deal with environmental health concerns in planning practice. Building on complexity theory, an environmental justice framework is proposed to localize environmentally unhealthy situations, and a matrix of planning strategies is presented to address these situations. To verify whether these theoretical insights could help to solve urban environmental health conflicts, an empirical research methodology was developed consisting of interviews, spatial data analysis, documentary analysis and a residents' survey. This research framework was applied to the city of Ghent (Belgium) in close collaboration with the city administrations and a local citizen initiative. By combining quantitative with qualitative results, case-specific and general policy recommendations were formulated that can lead to a more central place for health in urban planning.
Keywords
Environmental Health, Urban Planning, Complexity, Environmental Justice

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Verbeek, Thomas. 2017. “Living Cities : Reconnecting Environmental Health and Urban Planning”. Ghent, Belgium ; Groningen, The Netherlands: Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture ; InPlanning.
APA
Verbeek, Thomas. (2017). Living cities : reconnecting environmental health and urban planning. Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture ; InPlanning, Ghent, Belgium ; Groningen, The Netherlands.
Vancouver
1.
Verbeek T. Living cities : reconnecting environmental health and urban planning. [Ghent, Belgium ; Groningen, The Netherlands]: Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture ; InPlanning; 2017.
MLA
Verbeek, Thomas. “Living Cities : Reconnecting Environmental Health and Urban Planning.” 2017 : n. pag. Print.
@phdthesis{8508726,
  abstract     = {While public health and urban planning were closely linked in the past, the relation has turned into a lock-in of two procedurally interrelated, but in fact disconnected domains of knowledge and action. In most cases, health intersects with spatial planning processes only through obligatory evaluations or restrictive environmental legislation. This institutionalization of health criteria in most western countries has difficulty in dealing with the rapidly changing spatial conditions of our complex society, the growing awareness of environmental impacts and the increasing empowerment and engagement of citizens.

This dissertation aims to move beyond this lock-in and explores new approaches to deal with environmental health concerns in planning practice. Building on complexity theory, an environmental justice framework is proposed to localize environmentally unhealthy situations, and a matrix of planning strategies is presented to address these situations. To verify whether these theoretical insights could help to solve urban environmental health conflicts, an empirical research methodology was developed consisting of interviews, spatial data analysis, documentary analysis and a residents' survey. This research framework was applied to the city of Ghent (Belgium) in close collaboration with the city administrations and a local citizen initiative. By combining quantitative with qualitative results, case-specific and general policy recommendations were formulated that can lead to a more central place for health in urban planning.},
  author       = {Verbeek, Thomas},
  isbn         = {9789085789734},
  keyword      = {Environmental Health,Urban Planning,Complexity,Environmental Justice},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {383},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture ; InPlanning},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Living cities : reconnecting environmental health and urban planning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.17418/PHD.2017.9789491937323},
  year         = {2017},
}

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