Since the pandemic, there have been increasing calls for investments in urban programs and infrastructure to be systematically examined from the point of view of their impact on health. The World Health Organization promotes health impact assessment (HIA) as a mechanism for taking health risks into account from the design phase, but also for guiding investment choices according to potential health gains. Several countries have already integrated such a tool into their planning processes. The Brussels-Capital Region asked us to develop a procedure adapted to the city-region, based on a pilot that follows an ongoing planning process.
The assignment consists of two parts: carrying out a pilot HIA of the district renovation programs for the Midi station area, and assisting the client in the promotion of health within all other urban development, spatial planning and urban research assignments. In the first part, we build a framework of relevant health determinants, indicators and data sources, based on a literature review and interviews with other experts with experience in GEB. We then prioritize the determinants, based on the available data and advice from the actors involved in the design of the district renewal programs. Based on the estimated effects of the proposed scenarios, we finally formulate recommendations for a final development programs.
In the second part, we focus on the support of “Care in the City”, the new partnership between Perspective.Brussels and the actors of the health and social care sector. The focus is on the development of better health indicators at district level and the consistent translation of the GEB into effective investments in neighborhood facilities, which offer quality of life to all and promote healthy lifestyle choices and monitor neighborhood well-being.