Health promoting urban environment (PLAN-H)

Project description

The current, dispersed environmental health promotion research provides conflicting evidence for urban planners to apply environmental health research findings. PLANhealth project contributed to the integration of the field by introducing a new place-based, context specific approach. This approach is sensitive to differences in individual lifestyles and identifies various “urban tribes”. It redefined the home zones dynamically and studied the socioeconomic and other barriers of resource accessibility. We identified how various inhabitant groups actually make use of environmental resources in their habitual behavior, how equal the accessibility of environmental resources are and what are the resulting health outcomes. Our locality-based understanding  made this possible by incorporating a modified geoinformatics approach of higher spatial-analytical level. The context sensitive approach was possible by public participation GIS (PPGIS) methodology. It has enabled the combination of ‘soft’ subjective data with ‘hard’ objective GIS data. The project contributed to both fundamental understanding of the underlying phenomena of health promotive processes in various contexts as well as increased the applicability of research findings in the highly topical urban densification policy.

Research themes

Active living and urban lifestyles

Child and age-friendly environments

Participatory planning

Private: PPGIS and VGI methods development

Project details

  • Start date:
    September 1, 2016
  • End date:
    September 30, 2020
  • Location:
    Espoo, Finland
  • Funded by:
    Academy of Finland
  • Objectives:

Project contact

Marketta Kyttä

Aalto University

Team members

  • Anna Kajosaari
  • Tiina Laatikainen
  • Kamyar Hasanzadeh

Participating partners

Greg Brown

California Polytechnic State University

Stan Geertman

University of Utrecht

Jukka Heinonen

University of Iceland

Sanna Ala-Mantila

University of Helsinki

Related publications

Czepkiewicz, M., Ottelin, J., Ala-Mantila, S., Heinonen, J., Hasanzadeh, K. & Kyttä, M. (2018). Urban structural and socioeconomic effects on local, national and international travel patterns and greenhouse gas emissions of young adults. Journal of Transport Geography 68, 130-141.

Kahila-Tani, M., Kyttä, M. & Geertman, S. (2019). Does mapping improve public participation? Exploring the pros and cons of using public participation GIS in urban planning practices. Landscape and Urban Planning 186, 45-55.

Kajosaari, A., Hasanzadeh, K. & Kyttä, M. (2019). Residential dissonance and walking for transport. Journal of Transport Geography 74, 134-144.

Kajosaari, A. & Laatikainen, T. E. (2020). Adults’ leisure-time physical activity and the neighborhood built environment: a contextual perspective. International Journal of Health Geographics 19, 35.

Kajosaari, A., Haybatollahi, S. M., Hasanzadeh, K. & Kyttä, M. (2021). Examining the effects of residential location and stated residential preferences on activity space size and centricity. Travel Behaviour and Society 23, 65-75.

Kajosaari, A. & Pasanen, T. P. (2021). Restorative benefits of everyday green exercise: A spatial approach. Landscape and Urban Planning 206, 103978.

Pasanen, T.P. & Kajosaari, A. (2023) Place, Space, and Mental Health. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20, (6), 5055.

Rinne, T. Kajosaari, A. Söderholm, M. Berg, P. Pesola, A. Smith, M. & Kyttä, M. (2022) Delineating the geographic context of physical activities: A systematic search and scoping review of the methodological approaches used in social ecological research over two decades. Health & Place, 73, 102737.

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