John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Green space: a new tool of public health policy? Volume 14, issue 4, Juillet-Août 2015


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Environnement et Société, E&S
Cabinet d’études en écologie humaine
45, avenue Alain Le Lay
29900 Concarneau
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In France, green spaces are currently the easiest way to approach the issues of nature in the city. To consider the relation between urban planning and public health, which was the topic of the November 2014 SFSE symposium, we began by performing a systematic review of the literature in 2009, for Plante et Cité1.

Next we asked city-dwellers about this topic directly. Between 2009 and 2013, we questioned a sample of 428 people during 23 participative workshops as part of 7 urban planning projects intended to draft local urban plans (PLU) and prepare urban development. We asked them about their uses of green spaces and examined the representations of the environment that underlie these practices. Our findings showed the diversity of the social expectations of nature as well as the level of societal acceptability of the link between urban planning and public health.

In conclusion, the cross-reading of these two sources leads us to suggest a framework for designing a tool to provide public decision-making support. Operationally, we think this research-action should be integrated into the current French urban planning structure (PLU, PLUi, SCOT), within which fit the key concepts of green and blue belts and ecological corridors. We propose the elaboration of a “Plan for Health, Mobility, and the Environment” for urban and rural municipalities, based on global greening.