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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Descriptions of the relationship between human health and green infrastructure in six Nordic comprehensive plans

Sunding, Anna; Randrup, Thomas B.; Nordh, Helena; Sang, Asa Ode; Nilsson, Kjell


The link between green infrastructure (GI) and human health and well-being (HH&W) is well-established. While land use planning is fundamental for delivering increased and equitable HH&W outcomes, whether and to what extent this is implemented in planning practice is largely unknown.This study performed a content analysis of six Nordic comprehensive plans regarding terms, connections, and goals used to describe the GI-HH&W relationship in order to identify the conditions set for developing healthpromoting GI in strategic planning interventions. The results revealed common, varied, and nuanced terminology describing GI in all six plans, while health outcomes were non-specifically described and less consistently referred to. Similarly, connections between and goals related to GI and HH&W outcomes were rarely mentioned and expressed only in general terms. This lack of nuance may lead to uncertainty concerning (i) land claims required and (ii) how to configure allocated land in order to promote HH&W via GI. Overall, current descriptions fail to acknowledge that health outcomes vary with properties of GI, and may thus fail to provide sufficient arguments to withstand other land use interests. From a strategic planning perspective, the general description of the GI-HH&W relationship may create additional uncertainties for prioritization in subsequent planning phases.


Green infrastructure; Human health and well-being; Land use planning; Greenspace planning and policy; Comprehensive plans; Management

Published in

2024, Volume: 146, article number: 104746Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD