|M.Sc Student||Grinshpoon Biana|
|Subject||The Status of the Health Impact Assessment and the Presence|
of Health Aspects in the Planning System in Israel
in the Context of National Projects -
The Case Study of the...
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Dr. Meirav Aharon|
|Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This research examines the status of the Health Impact Assessment (also known as HIA) and health aspects in the Israeli planning system, in the context of a national infrastructure. The study seeks to understand the role of health considerations in the decision-making process of the planning institutions, in regards of a large-scale national project that have significant impacts on the living surroundings. The establishment of a secondary international airport was chosen as a case study for this research due to the anticipated major changes that it will bring and since it is a real-time event unfolding during the research.
In 2011 the Israeli government decided that a secondary international airport to Ben Gurion Airport is an urgent national need. The Israeli National Planning and Building Council ordered the preparation of alternatives examination document. The document explored 21 different alternatives, finally recommending the Ramat David Air Force Base as the designated airport location. The entire planning process was combined of many aspects such as environmental, security, economic and some other considerations.
This research focuses on the integration level of the health aspects in the planning procedure. It is reviewing the logic that guided the planning institutions throughout the decision-making process. The methodology combined qualitative and quantitative analysis. The first stage of the study reviewed protocols, policy documents, position papers and other relevant documents. Next, it analyzed the various protocols and documents to achieve a comprehensive picture of the logic that guided the planning institutions. Later, interviews were conducted with five professionals and decision makers which proficient in the HIA and the planning system.
The findings surfaced the challenges and barriers in promoting the Health Impact Assessment. The study identified several factors challenging the Ministry of Health's ability to promote the issue: The absence of regulations, insufficient measures taken by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environmental Protection to resolve their inter-ministerial controversy, lack of inter-agency cooperation and the perception that the environmental aspects that were examined in the Environmental Impact Assessment cover the health aspects sufficiently. Leading to the conclusion, that the Ministry of health is the weakest player (among the examined parties involved) in the planning system. Making it challenging to prioritize and enforce the health aspects of the National projects.
Prior to the study, there were no studies examining the status of HIA and the presence of health aspects in the planning process of national projects in Israel, making it a pioneering research in this field. The research first analyzed the dynamics between the various governmental entities and examined the priority of the health aspects within it. Due to the accelerated development trend experienced by the state, as well as the fact that Israel is a small country with limited land resources, the importance of enforcing health impacts considerations on projects of this scale, is critical. Finally, the research is a wake-up call regarding public health considerations that must be taken in the planning of national projects.