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The value and use of urban health indicator tools in the complex urban planning policy and decision-making context

Pineo, Helen Sofia; (2019) The value and use of urban health indicator tools in the complex urban planning policy and decision-making context. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Urban health indicator (UHI) tools are promoted as an evidence-based form of information to influence urban planning policy and decision-making. However, there is a lack of research on their value and use. Indicator producers, often from health fields, tend to have a linear and rational view of indicator use and policy-making that is starkly contrasted by urban policy scholars who see these processes as complex and socially constructed. It is therefore unclear how UHI tools might function within the complex planning policy and decision-making process to promote health considerations. This mixed-methods research investigates the use and value of UHI tools using collaborative rationality and systems theories. A two-part systematic review included a census of 145 UHI tools and a narrative synthesis of 10 qualitative studies on the use of UHI tools. The results were used to develop a taxonomy of UHI tools and theory of change. A series of 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted with indicator producers and users in San Francisco, Melbourne and Sydney. These data were analysed using thematic analysis and systems thinking approaches to produce causal loop diagrams (CLD) of participants’ mental models. The CLDs were tested and improved in a participatory modelling workshop. Indicator users and producers had significant overlap in their mental models. The development and application of UHI tools increased inter-sectoral relationships which supported actors to better understand each other’s opportunities and constraints for health promotion. Relationships helped to create new advocates for health in diverse organisations, supporting health in all policies or whole-of-society approaches to health promotion. Community involvement in UHI tools and the effectiveness of advocates helped to challenge constraints to health-promoting policy development and implementation. However, the high number of new indicators being created can create confusion and reduce indicator use, particularly when they are not designed to meet users’ needs.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The value and use of urban health indicator tools in the complex urban planning policy and decision-making context
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077284
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