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Raphael Sieber

Raphael Sieber Photo of Raphael Sieber

(+49) 231-755 2282


Room 421


Curriculum Vitae

02/2013 - present Dortmund University of Technology, Faculty of Spatial Planning Doctoral Scholarship in the SALUS research group, funded by Fritz und Hildegard Berg-Stiftung

10/2008 – 03/2013 Dortmund University of Technology, Faculty of Spatial Planning Programme Master of Spatial Planning

04/2002 - 12/2007 Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Geography Diploma in Geography, Sociology and Politics Professional Experience

04/2010 - present Research Fellow at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Department of Architecture, Research Unit “Planning and Building in Structural Change”, contributed in diverse research projects on lighting design in public space and health-promoting urban development

06/2009 - 03/2010 freelance contribution in a research project of the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts on lighting design in public space



PhD Thesis: Spatial planning instruments for a health-promoting urban development paying particular attention to social inequalities


Starting Point

“Health promotion suffers from a lack of own institutions that deal exclusively or at least substantially with this task as a core target. Consequently the task of health promotion needs to be anchored in various institutions, structures or living environments whose main task is always something different than health promotion. In this sense health promotion is as well a consciously created additional benefit of the activities of urban development” (Stender 2012, translated). But the operating principles, the methods and the instruments of urban planning still do not tap the full potential to consider health as a main concern in urban planning. That “health concerns and approaches of health promotion and prevention need to be integrated far more into the concepts and procedures of city planning and urban development” (Böhme 2012, translated) marks the starting point of this PhD thesis.


Research Objective

The dissertation examines existing instruments of spatial planning (e.g. binding land use plan) with regard to their potential for a health-promoting urban development. It proceeds on the assumption that the setting approach as an “eminently feasible route to health promotion” (Poland et al 2011) may enhance the capability of spatial planning instruments to consider health concerns. Therefore the intention behind this work is to identify ways to integrate the setting approach of health promotion into existing spatial planning instruments. One of the most important differences between Spatial Planning and Health Promotion lies in the genuine recipients of their activities. On one hand this is the physical space and on the other hand these are individual persons or social groups. The aim is to test whether it is possible to go beyond “physical determinism in spatial planning” (Jung 2008, translated) by a better consideration of the lifeworld oriented settings – both in the participatory process and in the legally binding arrangements of a planning instrument. A better consideration of settings in the planning process might also improve the ability of the people affected by the planning to take decisions and have control over one's life circumstances as stated in the Ottawa Charta (WHO 1986).


Theoretical embedding

This leads to the question in which way spatial planning instruments can affect local settings and where interlinkages can be identified. Therefore must be clarified how settings of health promotion are defined and what are the ways of intervention of spatial planning instruments?

Due to the WHO definition “a setting is where people actively use and shape the environment; thus it is also where people create or solve problems relating to health. Settings can normally be identified as having physical boundaries, a range of people with defined roles, and an organizational structure. Examples of settings include schools, work sites, hospitals, villages and cities” (WHO 2013). In accordance to Rosenbrock and Gerlinger (2012) two forms of setting related strategies of health promotion can be distinguished. First the “health promotion in the setting”, in which settings provide access to target groups to place offers of behavioural health prevention. And second the “creation of health promotive settings”, what includes forms of conditional prevention and represents a participatory approach that tries to initiate processes, which “enables users of a setting to shape it in accordance to their needs (empowerment)” (translated).

A look into spatial planning theory shows up possibilities where to tie on spatial planning to the setting approach of health promotion. The types of intervention of spatial planning instruments were described by Jung in 2008, based on and embedded in the so called “third generation” of planning theory by Schönwandt (1999). The four types of interventions in spatial planning are first determine locations (e.g. providing areas for a specific use by a urban land use plan), second build facilities (includes the construction as well as the maintenance of buildings, streets, parks, etc.), third orient institutions (means the establishment or abolishment of and the influence on institutions, e.g. through the assistance for building associations) and fourth to exert influence on the space affecting behaviour of humans (e.g. attempts to shift the modal split towards bicycle use by information campaigns). The first and second type of interventions affect mainly material structures, which are set up in physical space. This is the traditional field of spatial planners. The third and fourth type exert influence principally on social structures. These intervention measures go beyond physical space because they address individuals or groups and their behaviour.

Figure 1 now shows a model of interlinkages between the setting approach of health promotion and the intervention types in spatial planning. The intervention types (1) “determine locations” and (2) “build facilities” can be mainly tied on to the above mentioned health promotion by “creating health promotive settings” and also measures of conditional prevention. The types (3) “orient institutions” and (4) “behaviours” can mainly link to “health promotion in the setting” and behavioural prevention. This doesn‘t mean that e.g. health promotive settings can be achieved only via material structures, but the contribution of spatial planning to setting based health promotion might be mainly seen here. In this way the model helps to understand where the instruments of spatial planning – via its intervention types – can influence the lifeworld oriented settings.



Fig. 1: Model of interlinkages between the setting approach of health promotion and intervention types in spatial planning (Interventions in Spatial Planning based on Jung 2008, as well as Schönwandt 1999 and Heidemann 1992)



Due to the little scientific information on setting oriented planning instruments the work has an explorative character. The research plan can be roughly divided into three steps; first the identification of relevant instruments and their embedding in planning theory, second an analysis of case studies in the German cities of Dortmund and Munich using expert interviews and third the testing of setting related planning strategies in a simulation game.


Expected results

A first result of the work is the development of the theoretical framework that shows the linkages between the setting approach of health promotion and the intervention types of spatial planning. Additionally it is intended to develop an analytic scheme that shows the health concerns of different settings and the possibilities of spatial planning to exert influence on them. Finally the results of the planning game should allow founded statements if setting oriented spatial planning instruments are a suitable approach to promote healthy urban environments.





Böhme, C./ Kliemke, C./ Reimann, B./ Süß, W. (2012): Einführung. In: Böhme, C./ Kliemke, C./ Reimann, B./ Süß, W. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Stadtplanung und Gesundheit. Bern. S. 7 - 12.

Heidemann, C. (1992): Regional Planning Methodology. The First & Only Annotated Picture Primer on

Regional Planning; Karlsruhe: Institut für Regionalwissenschaft, Discussion Paper Nr. 16.

Jung, W. (2008): Instrumente räumlicher Planung: Systematisierung und Wirkung auf die Regimes und Budgets der Adressaten. Hamburg.

Poland, B./ Krupa, G./ McCall, D. (2009): Settings for Health Promotion: An Analytic Framework to Guide Intervention Design and Implementation. In: Health Promotion Practice, Vol. 10, No. 4, S. 505 - 516.

Rosenbrock, R./ Gerlinger, T. (2012): Gesundheitspolitik. In: Hurrelmann, K./ Razum, O. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Gesundheitswissenschaften. Weinheim und Basel, 2012. S. 1009 - 1051.

Schönwandt, W. (1999): Grundriss einer Planungstheorie der „dritten Generation“. In: DISP 136/137, 35. Jahrgang, S. 25‐35.

Stender, K.-P. (2012): Ressortübergreifende Kooperation – am Beispiel der Gesundheitsförderung in Hamburg. In: Böhme, C./ Kliemke, C./ Reimann, B./ Süß, W. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Stadtplanung und Gesundheit. Bern.

WHO [Weltgesundheitsorganisation] (1986): Ottawa-Charta zur Gesundheitsförderung (WHO-autorisierte Übersetzung: Hildebrandt/Kickbusch)

WHO [Weltgesundheitsorganisation] (2013): Introduction to Healthy Settings. URL: http://www.who.int/healthy_settings/about/en/ (Abruf 08.11.2013)




  • Sieber Raphael: Strategien für eine gesundheitsfördernde Stadtenwicklung - Integration des Setting-Ansatzes der Gesundheitsförderung in Instrumente der Stadtentwicklung, 2014-07-03, Foko Forschungskolloqium, Dortmund University; Dortmund, 2014
  • Sieber, Raphael: Gesund, gerecht, geplant - Instrumente einer gesundheitsfördernden Stadtentwicklung unter Berücksichtigung sozialer Ungleichheiten, 2013-11-28, Conference Stadtwandel als Chance, Wuppertal Institut; Wuppertal, 2013