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Health in local planning policy in Grenoble, France. From the margins to the mainstream


This paper will focus on the place of health in local planning policy in Grenoble over the past twenty years. It draws on some of the findings of the LIFE project, supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR-15-IDEX-02). People with Multimorbid Chronic Diseases (MCDs) account for over 50% of adults aged 50 or older, and for 80% of health costs. MCD clusters evolve over time, defining temporal disease trajectories, often leading to cancer. The dynamics of MCD trajectories include individual factors such as sleep disturbances, dietary exposure to toxic agents or hypoxia. However, a number of factors are driven by wider contexts, in particular the built environment. With a population of 160.000 inhabitants (450 000 with its conurbation), Grenoble is located in Y-shaped valley in the heart of the French Alps and is referred to as the “bowl” (cuvette). The surrounding mountain ranges have acted as natural greenbelts and the city has consequently sprawled down the three valleys, generating commuting, congestion and pollution. As part of the LIFE project, special attention is being paid to the status of health in local policy-making in Grenoble, at the municipal and city-regional scales. The Grenoble experience is of particular interest since it is currently the only large city in France to be led by a green party Mayor, Eric Piolle, elected in 2014 as a result of his campaign that essentially focused on two main issues: mobility, in particular cycling, and pollution. This paper relies on critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1992 ; 2003). The local health plan produced by the previous council in 2011 is compared to the updated version adopted by the current council in 2016. Successive local plans are also compared and contrasted, so are the rationales underpinning flagship regeneration projects. The research is also based on interviews with key stakeholders involved in place-making, some of whom have played major roles over the past fifteen years despite the change of municipality. It is of course too early to assess the extent to which current actions will have a positive influence on the population’s health on the long term. However, research shows a clear shift in discourse since the 2014 election. Whilst policies and plans designed and implemented by previous councils did take health into account, they tended to focus on energy efficiency. Today however, health per se appears to have become one of the explicit cornerstones of local planning policy.
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halshs-01571300 , version 1 (02-08-2017)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01571300 , version 1


Stéphane Sadoux, Gilles Novarina, Susannah O'Carroll, Jean-Louis Pepin. Health in local planning policy in Grenoble, France. From the margins to the mainstream . Healthy City Design 2017, Oct 2017, Londres, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-01571300⟩


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