Skip to main content

Table 2 Overview of nine district types with the associated characteristics, themes and approach

From: A toolkit with nine district types to support municipalities in taking an integrated approach to prevention

District typesData guideaPrevention guideb
Key characteristicsSelected themesIntegrated approach
Urban centreStimulants, stress, loneliness, fewer chronic diseases, sufficient exercise and sufficiently healthy diet
High level of amenities (shops and public transport), healthcare facilities
High-density housing, poor air quality and little greenery
Low level of social cohesion, and nuisance in the street.
Lots of people in work
Lots of single-person households and diversity
High level of stimulant use among young adults (with high socioeconomic status)
Healthy living environment
Interventions focused on information via peer-group education (‘Unity’), offering self-help programmes (Jellinek online self-help), a policy of enforcement by limiting the supply of stimulants, enforcement of age limits and training cafe staff (‘smartconnection’).
Interventions aimed at better utilisation of green areas and green connecting passages, thereby giving more opportunity for people to relax, meet up and exercise (cycling scores well), management and maintenance of greenery and include greenery in spatial plans.
Pre-war working-class districtChronic diseases, mental health issues, unhealthy patterns of diet and exercise, and poor self-management
High level of amenities (shops and public transport), and primary care facilities (GPs)
High housing density, little room for exercise and a lot of social housing
High degree of social cohesion
Fewer initiatives by the public
Mixed age distribution, diversity and preponderance of low-income groups
Unhealthy lifestyle among adults with low socioeconomic status
Self-management for chronic diseases
Interventions that focus on information about healthy lifestyles (buying and cooking healthy food), healthy lifestyle assistance (‘SLIMMER’) and creating a healthy environment (‘45+ football’) in which healthy behaviour is encouraged.
Interventions aimed at enhancing easy-to-understand information about diseases, encouraging people to get a grip on their health and be in control (‘Social and Vibrant’, ‘Exercise Course’), meeting fellow sufferers/healthcare providers online or mobilising the social network (community support).
Post-war district with high-rise buildingsUnhealthy lifestyle, overweight, mental health issues, loneliness, stress
High level of amenities (shops and public transport), and welfare facilities
Unattractive greenery and renovation of homes
Sense of insecurity, initiatives from the public
Fewer people in work
Diversity, a lot of young people, more low-income groups
Overweight among children
Climate in which children are raised
Interventions that focus on information about a healthy diet and exercising enough (‘Nice and Fit’), assistance for children and their families in losing weight (‘Lifestyle’, ‘Energy Fun and Friends’) and creating a healthy environment (‘sCOOLsport’, ‘Healthy Weight Overvecht’ and keeping fast-food chains out).
Interventions aimed at improving parents’ child-raising skills (‘Child-raising & So On’, ‘Triple P’), improving family members’ skills, better provision of healthcare and facilities for children and young people with behavioural problems (‘the Peaceful School’) and creating a safe environment.
Leafy urban districtsStress, mental health issues and excessive alcohol consumption
Few healthcare and welfare facilities in the vicinity
Sufficient greenery and space, investing in your own home
Providing informal care
Dual-income couples/people in work
Mixed age distribution, more graduates and elderly people depending on age of housing
Stress and burn-out among adultsInterventions aimed at enhancing mental well-being and reducing mental-health complaints. This could involve online self-help programmes or group courses (‘’ or ‘Living in Full’). Furthermore, creating an environment where there is room to rest and relax (business yoga).
Small-town districtsStimulants (smoking, drugs), mental health issues, loneliness and unhealthy lifestyle
Basic amenities (shops and public transport), adequate primary care and welfare facilities
Shortage of appropriate housing and unattractive surroundings for exercise
Nuisance (loitering youngsters) in some places
Lots of people in work
Mixed age distribution, diversity, both high-income and low-income groups
Resilience and social skills of young people
Smoking and drugs among young people
Interventions aimed at enhancing young people’s social skills (‘Power in Control’) as a way of preventing problem behaviour later on, as well as interventions aimed at giving young people exhibiting problem behaviour new skills (‘Down to Work’, ‘Star Training’). Also creating an environment in which young people can grow up resilient and with social skills (school-wide positive behaviour support) and where nuisance caused by youngsters is tackled (bans on assembly, area bans).
Interventions aimed at making young people aware of the risks of smoking and drug use, helping them to stop (‘Pot Check’, ‘Smoke Alert’) and creating a no-smoking environment (ban on smoking at schools and sports locations).
Leafy small-town districtsLoneliness, not enough exercise, fewer chronic diseases
Adequate amenities (shops, schools) but no healthcare facilities nearby
Sufficient greenery and space
Little nuisance but little engagement
Providing informal care
Mixed age distribution, diversity and more one-person households
Social cohesionInterventions aimed at flagging up vulnerable inhabitants in danger of becoming lonely (‘Social and Vibrant’, ‘Fancy a Friendship’) and interventions geared to meeting people (‘Hearty Resto’, local sports clubs).
Large-village centresExcessive alcohol consumption, overweight and mental health issues
Declining number of amenities (sports and public transport), adequate primary care facilities
Sufficient space and greenery, few high-rise buildings
High degree of social cohesion and rich ecosystem of societies
Lots of people in work
Mixed age distribution, more people with few qualifications
Excessive alcohol consumption among young peopleInterventions aimed at providing information about alcohol consumption (‘PAS’), assisting young people with alcohol problems and their parents (‘Moti-4’), creating a social norm for responsible alcohol consumption (‘Succeeding Together’, ‘Regional Training Centre Plan of Attack’) and measures aimed at discouragement and enforcement.
Villages and hamletsExcessive alcohol consumption, less exercise (dependent on the car) and more overweight
Low level of amenities, and secondary care some distance away
Poorer air quality, a lot of space and greenery
High degree of social cohesion and dependency due to ageing (ability to cope)
Providing informal care
Both high-income and low-income groups, fewer young people and more people with relatively little education
Healthy and old/ability to copeInterventions aimed at creating awareness about ageing healthily and at promoting a healthy lifestyle (functional training for the elderly, ‘Groningen Active Living Model’). Furthermore, interventions aimed support for informal caregivers, contact with fellow sufferers and mobilising the social network around the elderly (centres where they can meet up, community support).
Scattered housing in rural areasLess exercise, overweight, loneliness and stress.
Few amenities, limited public transport and limited fibre-optic cabling
A lot of space and greenery
Coping together and rich ecosystem of societies
Few employment opportunities
Both high-income and low-income groups, fewer young people
Loneliness among the elderly
Overweight in adults
Intervention aimed at increasing awareness (‘Week Against Loneliness’) and expanding the social network of vulnerable elderly people (‘Welfare on Prescription’, ‘Social and Vibrant’). Furthermore, interventions aimed at the environment and centred on meeting people (local sports clubs, ‘Hearty Resto’).
Interventions aimed at providing information to people at risk of becoming overweight about healthy diets and exercise behaviour (cheap healthy food), improving skills related to healthy diet and healthy exercise (‘Smartsize’, ‘Step into Health’) and encouraging a healthy living environment (‘45+ football’ and offering swimming activities).
  1. aData guide with notable characteristics based on the six domains: 1) health and lifestyle, 2) amenities, 3) social environment, 4) physical environment, 5) participation, 6) demographics (characteristics in bold are the relevant indicators to be considered)
  2. bPrevention guide with approach for the high-priority themes based on four blocks: 1) information and education, 2) alerting, advice and support, 3) social and physical environment, 4) regulations (one or two themes are prioritised per district for an integral approach)