Today at Healthy City Design International Congress 2023 new evidence is presented on how to ensure human health is baked into climate adaptation plans. The work results from a year-long collaborative project between Urban Habitats and Public Health Wales. Health Impact Assessment for Climate Adaptation: Examples from Practice is now available to download (link below).
Climate change is already impacting human health. How societies respond has the potential to make those health impacts better or worse. This matters because existing climate adaptation activity needs to significantly increase: current strategies are falling short of what will be needed to mitigate global heating. As adaptation increases how can both planetary health and human wellbeing be supported?
Public health works precisely to support population health: but most practitioners in climate adaptation are not in public health. They work in sectors including transport, environment, housing, and healthcare. This publication aims to start bridging that gap and help practitioners across these many sectors to think about health and wellbeing from day one.
The publication which contrasts case studies and learning from both international examples and from within Wales is now available. It draws on case studies of Indigenous health in Alaska and the vital role of community knowledge through to how public bodies like Natural Resources Wales are building health thinking into their workflows. The work was launched today at the Royal College of Physicians in Liverpool as part of this week’s Healthy City Design congress.
“Many practitioners want to support human health and wellbeing but face challenges in simply putting the evidence into practice. This is exactly where our experience can help – bringing together high-quality evidence with a practical understanding of practice.”
Mark Drane, Director, Urban Habitats
HIA has been identified as an important tool and process to enable health and wellbeing to be better integrated into cross sector climate adaptation plans and to facilitate meaningful community participation. The Wales HIA Support Unit has been leading the way in the development of HIA practice internationally for almost 20 years. We hope that sharing learning on how HIA can support better policy making in the climate change arena, in this case on adaptation, will be useful for colleagues in UK and beyond.
Nerys Edmonds, Principal Health Impact Assessment Development Officer, Wales Health Impact Assessment Unit, Public Health Wales
Publication download link:
About Public Health Wales and Urban Habitats
The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being is part of Public Health Wales. The internationally recognised group of public health practitioners develops, collects and shares information and tools on how best to invest in better health, reduce inequalities, and build stronger and more resilient communities in Wales, Europe and Worldwide.
The internationally recognised Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU) is based in the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being, Public Health Wales.
Urban Habitats is a creative research and design practice. Our values include working to address population health, planetary health, reducing inequalities, creating with communities, and taking an evidence informed approach. Urban Habitats works internationally across and between public health; urban design; and urban health.