Health impact assessment of greenspace – a guide

The guide has been written to help people conduct a health impact assessment (HIA) of greenspace (whether these are greenspace policies, strategies, plans, frameworks, programmes and projects); it:

  • provides background information on greenspace
  • outlines the current greenspace policy context in Scotland
  • reviews international research evidence on greenspace and health
  • suggests some questions to help apply this evidence to specific greenspace or greenspace-related proposals
  • outlines how to use this evidence to do a HIA
  • provides short case studies describing completed HIAs of greenspace
  • highlights sources of data and further information on greenspace

HIA can range from a rapid appraisal to an in-depth piece of research, should ideally be prospective but may be retrospective, and may employ both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection. 

A steering group, with representatives from greenspace scotland, NHS Health Scotland, Scottish National Heritage, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, NHS Lothian, the Scottish Health Impact Assessment Network, and Raploch Urban Regeneration Company developed the project.

Health impact assessment guides have also been developed for housing and transport. For more information about the Scottish Health Impact  Assessment Network

download the HIA guide

HIA facts

what is health impact assessment?
Policy decisions in a variety of areas such as education, employment, transport, greenspace, housing, finance and welfare impact on health. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) uses a range of methods and approaches to help identify potential or actual health impacts of policies and uses this information to minimise any negative and maximise positive impacts.

critical literature review

The HIA and greenspace guide offers an overview of the best available international scientific evidence on the health impacts (both positive and negative) of greenspace. Download the full literature review and the summary document