The planning profession has been advocated as an untapped resource for obesity prevention, but little is known about how planners view their roles and responsibilities in this area. This paper investigates the role of planners in the Healthy Towns programme in England, and explores the limits and potential for obesity prevention within planning policy and practice. Using a qualitative approach, 23 planning stakeholders were interviewed, identifying the potential for planning in public health, particularly the ‘health proofing’ of local planning policy. National and local governments should better align planning and health policies to support collaboration between planners and public health practitioners.
There is currently an increase in the number of heat waves occurring worldwide. Moscow experienced the effects of an extreme heat wave in 2010, which resulted in more than 10,000 extra deaths and significant economic damage. This study conducted a comprehensive assessment of the social risks existing during the occurrence of heat waves and allowed us to identify the spatial heterogeneity of the city in terms of thermal risk and the consequences for public health. Using a detailed simulation of the meteorological regime based on the COSMO-CLM regional climate model and the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET), a spatial assessment of thermal stress in the summer of 2010 was carried out. Based on statistical data, the components of social risk (vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity of the population) were calculated and mapped. We also performed an analysis of their changes in 2010–2017. A significant differentiation of the territory of Moscow has been revealed in terms of the thermal stress and vulnerability of the population to heat waves. The spatial pattern of thermal stress agrees quite well with the excess deaths observed during the period from July to August 2010. The identified negative trend of increasing vulnerability of the population has grown in most districts of Moscow. The adaptive capacity has been reduced in most of Moscow. The growth of adaptive capacity mainly affects the most prosperous areas of the city.
This paper explores how system-wide approaches to obesity prevention were ‘theorised’ and translated into practice in the ‘Healthy Towns’ programme implemented in nine areas in England. Semi-structured interviews with 20 informants, purposively selected to represent national and local programme development, management and delivery were undertaken. Results suggest that informants articulated a theoretical understanding of a system-wide approach to obesity prevention, but simplifying this complex task in the context of uncertainty over programme aims and objectives, and absence of a clear direction from the central government, resulted in local programmes relying on traditional multi-component approaches to programme delivery. The development of clear, practical guidance on implementation should form a central part of future system-wide approaches to obesity prevention.