In late 2007, a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was initiated to focus on the McLennan housing development. The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) initiated and managed this HIA.
The project is funded by Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB), through its Let’s Beat Diabetes programme. The LBD programme recognised that urban design and planning can directly influence physical activity opportunities in communities - and therefore on obesity, a significant driver of type two diabetes. LBD has used a strategy of supporting ‘exemplar models’ before, in terms of demonstrating how something can work and holding it up as an example for others to examine and adopt/follow. They chose to fund this HIA for that reason.
Three areas were selected for focus in the HIA:
- service access: to identify the scope of services that will be available in the short, medium and long term, and any potential gaps
- walkability: to identify opportunities for walkability and in so doing maximise the potential of the design
- community cohesion: to identify ways in which the community functioning can be positively developed, social cohesion (neighbourliness) maximised and local identity and diversity fostered.
A wide range of recommendations were made, some of which are potentially far-reaching. The table on page 10 of the report details the key challenges, opportunities and recommendations for action, for each of the three focus areas. An extensive set of detailed recommendations is contained in section 7 of the report.