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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Human health frames in EIA– the case of Swedish road planning

Kågström, Mari; Hilding-Rydevik, Tuija; Sjöberg, Ida


How human health is framed provides boundaries for choices in practice and bias for certain actions in health assessments in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This study examines health frames in legislation and policies of importance for EIA in Swedish road planning and their implications for practice. The emphasis is on different approaches, such as promotion of health and prevention of ill-health. Indicators of the choices in practice for which the health frames exert bias are further analysed through a review of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for road planning and comparison with a similar study conducted about 10 years ago. The indicators studied are: health determinants included, health impacts assessed, and aspects of the affected population concerned in the EISs. There are fundamentally different health frames in Swedish legislation and policies, but this range is not yet reflected in EISs, which mainly focus on environmental health rather than on broader health determinants and health equity. The results indicate that this situation becomes a dilemma for EIA practitioners and a challenge for the field.


Human health; EIA; road; traffic; frames; framing

Published in

Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
2013, Volume: 31, number: 3, pages: 198-207
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

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