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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) recently hosted a half day science to policy consultation workshop with representatives of the Brussels administration and other stakeholders, on how to reduce the urban burden of disease in Brussels through environmental policies. This consultation workshop was the first in a series of stakeholder engagement activities in various cities in Europe.

The research project Urban Burden of Disease Estimation for Policy-making (UBDPolicy), of which HEAL is a partner, aims to estimate the health and socio-economic costs and benefits of air quality, noise, lack of urban green spaces, heat and temperature, physical activity, and inequity for nearly 1,000 European cities in EU. The project aims to facilitate the stakeholder dialogue to strengthen the uptake of health impact assessments in policy-making and city planning at all levels.

Science-to-policy consultation workshops are an opportunity for researchers to input on which data is most needed for impactful current and future policy-making.

The city of Brussels has been chosen as one of the case study cities, for which detailed health cost and benefits assessments will be developed.  Other cities are Zagreb, Warsaw, Barcelona, Basel, Manchester, Munich, Sofia, Utrecht, Copenhagen, and Bradford. UBDPolicy is seeking stakeholders’ expertise to input and co-create research scenarios to best reflect policy needs.

During the workshop, researchers and Brussels stakeholders explored relevant current and prospective policies and strategies which will serve as the basis for calculating health impacts and benefits of measures (e.g climate neutrality by 2030, Low Emission Zones, GoodMove plan, and capture inequities issues in the city).

The next workshop is planned in Zagreb in mid-February 2024.

The  UBDPolicy workshops are open to interested policy-makers and stakeholders. Contact Vlatka Matkovic, Senior Science Policy Officer, for more information

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