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Embedding health equity strategically within built environments

  • Cora Janzen
  • Josh Marko
  • Michael Schwandt
Innovations in Policy and Practice
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Population health approaches are visible among multidisciplinary methods used in urban design and planning, but attention to health equity is not always an explicit focus. Population and Public Health—Saskatoon Health Region recognized the need for frameworks to prioritize, integrate and measure health equity within local built environments.

Setting

A cross-department healthy built environment (HBE) initiative coordinated activities involving Health Promotion, Environmental Public Health, Public Health Observatory, and Medical Health Officers engaged with municipal, academic and community partners in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Interventions

The HBE team conducted evidence reviews and consulted with partners to identify common health equity issues in built environments and best and leading practices to address them. The HBE team then prioritized and undertook projects to model a health equity approach.

Outcomes

Projects included the following: (1) developing a Health Equity in Healthy Built Environment Framework; (2) engaging in a partner campaign highlighting built environment and health equity during a municipal election; (3) producing a Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) report on the City of Saskatoon’s growth plan; and (4) developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for health equity outcomes. Other outputs include making new connections between local HBE and poverty reduction efforts and promoting social inclusion guidelines in consultation processes.

Implications

Within a population health approach to HBE, an explicit focus on health equity can be a catalyst for engaging partners in cross-sectoral action for building inclusive physical and social environments.

Keywords

Health equity Population and public health Public health Built environment Healthy built environment Municipality 

Résumé

Contexte

Les démarches de santé des populations sont visibles parmi les méthodes pluridisciplinaires utilisées dans l’aménagement et la planification des milieux urbains, mais l’équité en santé ne reçoit pas toujours une attention explicite. Le Service de santé publique et des populations de la Région sanitaire de Saskatoon a reconnu la nécessité d’avoir des cadres pour privilégier, intégrer et mesurer l’équité en santé dans les milieux bâtis à l’échelle locale.

Lieu

Une initiative interservices de « santé du milieu bâti » (SMB) a coordonné les activités des effectifs de la promotion de la santé, de la santé publique environnementale et de l’Observatoire de la santé publique, des médecins hygiénistes et de partenaires municipaux, universitaires et associatifs à Saskatoon (Saskatchewan).

Interventions

L’équipe de la SMB a mené des examens des données probantes et consulté ses partenaires pour cerner les problèmes d’équité en santé courants dans les milieux bâtis et trouver des pratiques exemplaires pour les résoudre. L’équipe a ensuite choisi et entrepris des projets pour faire la démonstration d’une démarche d’équité en santé.

Résultats

Les projets ont consisté à : (1) élaborer un « cadre de l’équité en santé pour le milieu bâti; (2) au cours d’une élection municipale, mener en partenariat une campagne soulignant l’importance de l’équité en santé dans le milieu bâti; (3) produire un rapport d’évaluation de l’impact sur l’équité en matière de santé (EIES) du plan de croissance de la Ville de Saskatoon; et (4) élaborer un cadre de suivi-évaluation des problèmes d’équité en santé. D’autres extrants ont été l’établissement de nouveaux liens entre les démarches locales de SMB et de réduction de la pauvreté, et la promotion de lignes directrices sur l’inclusion sociale dans les processus de consultation.

Conséquences

Dans une démarche de SMB axée sur la santé des populations, un accent explicite sur l’équité en santé peut favoriser la participation de partenaires à une action intersectorielle pour créer des milieux physiques et sociaux intégrateurs.

Mots-clés

Équité en santé Santé publique et des populations Santé publique Milieu bâti Santé du milieu bâti Municipalité 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the content contributions and manuscript review provided by Julie Kryzanowski (Medical Health Officer), Tanya Dunn-Pierce (Manager, Health Promotion) and Mel Brockman (Research Officer, Public Health Observatory).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Promotion Department, Population and Public HealthSaskatchewan Health AuthoritySaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Public Health Observatory, Population and Public HealthSaskatchewan Health AuthoritySaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Medical Health Officer, Population and Public HealthFraser Health AuthorityAbbotsfordCanada

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