Resilient and Sustainable Cities- Chapter 19: Health impact assessment: an innovative approach for 15-minute cities

Resilient and Sustainable Cities, Research, Policy and Practice, 2023, Pages 343-353
Meelan Thondoo, A. Ramos, N. Mueller, S. Khomenko, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen

Cities are important hubs for economic growth and social opportunities, but they are also hotspots for disease and death. The 15-minute city model provides an opportunity to increase healthcare in cities but tools to quantitatively assess the related health impacts of this model are lacking. While health impact assessment (hia) is a promising approach for promoting healthy behaviors and outcomes in cities, it has not yet been applied to the 15-minute city model. The aim of this chapter is to address the potential for HIA to assess and optimize the health impacts of the 15-minute city model. We start by introducing HIA in the context of current burden of disease in urban settings. We describe the different purpose and stages of HIA and delineate HIA in the context of 15-minute cities. We then discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the use of HIA in such cities and conclude on the way forward to encourage practice and policy around HIA for the benefit of urban residents across the globe. We conclude that HIA provides an unforeseen opportunity for the 15-min city vision in terms of (1) providing reliable predictions of health impacts; (2) monetizing health outcomes; (3) engaging a wide range of city stakeholders across sectors; and (4) placing health on the agenda of nonhealth sectors. Barriers remain on the application of the 15-min city model in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the adaptation of HIA in those settings. Important and urgent work needs to be conducted to address health inequities in the context of fast developing cities and the role of local governments in sustainable, healthy, and equitable cities for all.