Healthy urban planning and healthy impact assessment: joint implementation experience of two main directions of Phase IV project in the city of Stavropol
K. Amlaev, V. Elichev, O. Shmygina
Since ancient times the strategic location was the most important factor for foundation of the town. The second and the third places took its trade and healthy location.
Stavropol was founded in 1777 as a fortress in Azovo- Mozdokskaya fortification line. It has an important geopolitical location between the Kaspian Sea and the Black sea. The city is very green, because it was founded in virgin forests, which nowadays are the core of the green system of Stavropol.
The volume of housing and social construction has increased in Stavropol lately. On the index of setting housing into operation per one citizen Stavropol takes the first place among the cities of the region and the second place - among the cities of South Federal Region. Sometimes such intensive construction does not coincide with people’s interests from neighboring houses. Today there is a city general plan in Stavropol which defines the basic principles of prorspective city development up to 2010. But this plan was designed at the time of the Soviet Union. And at that time the possibility of centralized planning and resource provision were taking into consideration while forecasting construction and reconstruction of the city. And target comprehensive programmes on separate acute and urgent problems of city development were adopted which can’t be implemented today in full scale. Besides, the process of renovating city at the cost of use and reconstruction of old houses or areas where old buildings were destroyed is painful for a part of population. That’s why the necessity of urban planning open discussion is evident.
Today the Committee for urban planning and Department of Architecture of Stavropol city administration are developing a general city development plan of Stavropol up to 2030. A target programme “Housing for young families” was developed aiming at implementation of national project “Accessible and comfortable housing”. In line with this programme an indirect budgetary financing of housing construction is provided with bank loans under government and municipal’s security.
Besides, reducing the price of granted loans is being planned at the cost of budgetary subsidizing of interest rates. More than 350 young families wishing to take part in the project have already applied to the administration of Stavropol, and 67 families have got such kind of housing.
Nowadays within the framework of phase IV of the project two urban planning initiatives are being implemented taking into account healthy urban planning. New houses as well as social and cultural facilities are being constructed in new residential areas. They will be equipped with accessible facilities for non-mobile groups of population. Development and construction of new engineering nets have been planned. The preservation of forest will promote ecology maintenance and the possibility of using them as recreational areas.
Healthy city office in Stavropol decided to make health impact assessment of these projects implementation, that’s why it applied for municipal grant for its realization which was supported by the city administration. Such kind of experience is being implemented in Russia for the first time.
The aim of the project:
To make a comprehensive health impact assessment of two urban planning initiatives and prepare recommendations for builders and decision-makers on minimization of negative impact and strengthening positive impact of these two projects on citizens’ health.
· To form and train expert team on health impact assessment
· To select projects for making health impact assessment
· To make a comprehensive health impact assessment of selected projects, including sanitary-hygienic, ecological, medical, socioeconomic and other types of expertise
· To prepare appropriate recommendations for decision-makers aiming at minimization of negative impact and strengthening positive impact of these two projects on citizens’ health.
Implementation terms: 1.06.2007 – 31.11.2007. The main activities of the project have been completed. At the moment the methodological recommendations on health impact assessment implementation of urban planning projects in Stavropol and in Russia are being prepared.
Experts team: a public health specialist, a scientist on hygiene, an ecologist, a city planner, a representative of public organization, major builders and architects-planners.
Implementation: assessment has been made in some stages.
1. Developing of adapted assessment criteria of urban planning projects.
2. Formulating a questionnaire for residents.
3. Collecting of data on current socioeconomic situation in the building area: from police-station, administration, Department of Transport, Department of Health, Sanitary-hygienic monitoring Office, Employment Office and others.
4. Introduction of the project by the architect and the planner to the members of expert team.
5. Study of real project implementation on the construction site.
6. Specification of project’s details and answering experts’ questions by the architect and the planner.
7. Studying the data from different sectors.
8. Analysis of the results of questionnaire design.
9. Preparation of conclusion by each expert separately.
10. Preparation of recommendations for planners and decision-makers.
Project assessment has been made taking into account recommendations (Barton Huge, Tsourou C.) using spectral analysis as well as matrix developed in the city of Belfast. Every criterion has been estimated according to five-point scale. A multi-vectoral analysis of urban planning initiatives was offered and used by us. Each vector means a criterion and each section of the vector means the number of points got for meeting healthy urban planning principles. So, in case of maximum points we will have a perfect circle.
A multi-vectoral comprehensive analysis of urban planning
1. Healthy life-style.
2. Social support.
3. Housing quality.
4. Employment opportunities.
5. An access to comfortable mobility within the city.
6. Local production of pollution free food
8. Equity in health
9. Air quality and better environment
10. Water quality. Sewage system.
11. Soil quality
12. Climate stability
In a case when a criterion implementation doesn’t correspond with healthy urban planning requirements, e.g. insufficient safety (two points), a hollow appears in the circle illustrating drawbacks of the project.
Residential area №530 is located in the South-western part of the city of Stavropol. It consists of 4 neighborhoods. Nowadays the area is partially built. There are different engineering communications which have to be preserved. The transport scheme adopted before was taken as a basis of architectural and planning decisions. The compositional decision of the construction is based on the building of a single urban planning comprehensive with different rise houses from 2 to 16 floors forming semicircular yard space united by inner trade-pedestrian zones full of social services facilities. Most of the houses have 9-10 floors. But 10-16 floors houses with trade and social services premises built-in are being planned for compositional accents. In line with the programme of “resettlement of people from old and unsafe housing in 2004-2005” the large-panel houses were included into the plan. It includes also a secondary school for 44 classes (1688 pupils), pre-school institutions for nearly 770 children, 2 health and fitness clubs, a club of children arts, a church, a social-trade centre with a parking for 50 cars, a garage for 700 cars (4 floors), a car trade-service centre for machinery sale. The great number of planned houses with built-in premises, and car parks on the ground-floor provide accessibility for elderly and disabled people.
Variety and housing quality, distinct transport scheme, availability of parking lots, comfortable location of institutions, social service and trade enterprises, recreational establishments, rational pedestrian zones rich in rest zones for grown-ups, children of different age and disabled people, protection of green plantations as additional places for rest, improvement of ecology and a state of living, massive planting of the yards, public rest zones and streets - everything will promote best living and rest conditions for different groups of population and improvement of territory in the residential area № 530 of the city of Stavropol.
The drawbacks of the project are an absence of bikeways and insufficient network of public transport in the residential area. These drawbacks were pointed in the recommendations to the planners.
Assessing the second project the experts estimated its advantages: use of energy-saving technologies, planned social infrastructure, high density of construction, cluster location of social infrastructure, taking into consideration disabled people’s needs, right parking planning, increase the number of working places at the cost of new created enterprises, collective ownership of housing, taking into account safety issues – location of police station in the residential area and social housing availability. But the experts pointed to the drawbacks as well. They are: lack of green zones, poorly designed plant growing, absence of bikeways, a small number of sport facilities, low school capacity, bad visibility of territory, absence of flexibility in housing planning, insufficient measures on noise reduction.
All these drawbacks were registered in the recommendations to the planners and decision-makers. For example, it was recommended to increase building school capacity taking into account the growth of birth-rate, to plan 3 squares, to make appliances on the houses fronts for creeping plants, to increase the area of green plantations at the cost of the unused territory.
The results of questionnaire made by randomized selection showed that residents wanted to have rest zones in new residential areas. In residents’ opinion, the city needs new green zones. 22,6% of respondents answered this way. And 18,0 % of people said that the city needed fitness clubs. While answering open questions when the respondents chose the most important problems themselves they called: air pollution – 9,3%, alcoholism – 7,5 %, drug-abuse – 5,9 %, heavy traffic – 5,8 %, poor environment -5,2 %. It’s important that 88,3 % of the respondents want their opinion to be taken into consideration while developing “Healthy city” project.
1. As a result of the project it was possible to form and train an cross-sectoral group of experts on city-planning initiatives assessment, who developed a common approach to urban planning decisions.
2. We managed to provide a comprehensive assessment by overcoming sectoral disconnection.
3. Project implementation gave the opportunity to increase the acknowledgement of importance of healthy urban planning principles by decision-makers.
4. The experts acknowledged the most important problem which needed solution – absence of acting mechanisms for providing full correspondence of project’s objectives with real objects’ destination
5. The way of making comprehensive assessment without funding is unclear today.