Journal Article

Healthy Cities, local environmental action and climate change

Michael Bentley

in Health Promotion International

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 246-253
Published in print September 2007 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dam013
Healthy Cities, local environmental action and climate change

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SUMMARY

This paper reports results of a study that explored the relationship between the local environmental actions of Healthy Cities programs and the adverse health impacts of climate change. The analysis is primarily based on a limited literature review of climate change and health, with particular attention to the relationships between Healthy Cities and climate change, and on documentary analysis of information from organization reports and website content associated with Healthy Cities programs in Europe and Australia. Four semi-structured interviews with key people in two Healthy Cities programs in Europe and Australia were conducted to provide information to supplement and complement the published information and to verify theme identification. The main findings of this study are that, although there is no explicit connection between the local activities of Healthy Cities programs and the potential (or actual) adverse health impacts of climate change, Healthy Cities programs are involved in many local environmental actions and some of these actions, for example, those relating to improving air quality and reducing pollution, are linked implicitly to the health impacts of climate change. Through their local relationships and their participation in regional networks, Healthy Cities are able to make connections between local environmental actions and the health impacts of climate change. Furthermore, expanding Healthy Cities to include eco-social sustainability as a central aim not only has the potential to strengthen the links between local environmental actions and climate change, but also presents a relevant health development setting for exploring the social and environmental sustainability of cities.

Keywords: healthy cities; climate change; sustainability; local action

Journal Article.  4507 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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