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Creating a healthy environment for communities and citizens – what evidence best supports urban health policy-making?
February 28 @ 14:00 - 15:30
In 2021, 75% of the total population of the European Union lived in urban areas.1 Urban areas can have both positive and negative effects on human health. Citizens living in urban areas have better access to care facilities but are also exposed to higher infrastructure density, heavier air pollution, and increased stress.2 Cities whose urban planning policies are steered by health priorities are obviously more advanced in disease prevention and wellbeing promotion. There is also growing evidence that blue and green spaces have beneficial and restorative effects on mental and physical health. The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of contact with blue and green spaces to reduce stress, carry out physical activity, and provide opportunities for social interaction.3 Expecting further increase in the urban population in the coming decades, we should reflect on what kind of urban policy design will make current and future generations thrive and if universal access to blue and green spaces in the city can help to reduce health inequalities by their positive impact on wellbeing. The webinar organised within the framework of the HEART project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement number 945105, will explore the impacts of urban environment on health outcomes at both collective and individual level. Panellists will address questions such as ‘How are urban policies currently designed?’ ‘Which evidence do policy-makers need to take decisions about urban planning and infrastructure?’ ‘How can we ensure universal access to blue and green spaces?’