Investigate past polluting activities on public health and land uses

Stephan J. Hauser*, Gül Aktürk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Port regions are hubs connecting a nation and its hinterland to the rest of the world. Port cities' authorities and actors have always dealt with pressures and compromises in the sharing of space between agriculture, tourism, industry, and urban developments. The limited availability of land created conflicting uses over time especially when industrial sites disappear from the built environment to leave a polluted soil and water. The current literature discusses in detail changes in industrial land use, pollution of industries, and urban sanitary issues. Yet, only a few studies investigate the consequences of past industrial and urban developments on the health of citizens. This paper thus asks: How have authorities considered historical industrial activities in spatial planning policies and what are their consequences on public health in port cities? Of all pollutants, oil appears to be the widest spread with long term risks to human health. Oil industrial development in the port city of Dunkirk in the north of France can demonstrate this influence of past land uses. The objective is to highlight the impacts of past polluting activities over current populations' health in port city regions and the potential consequences of historically contaminated sites on public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103599
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Environmental history
  • Industrial history
  • Oil industry
  • Pollution
  • Port City
  • Public health
  • Spatial planning
  • Urban planning


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