Webinar series: The healthy and clean city of tomorrow
In June 2023, HEAL organised a series of three webinars to put a spotlight on three themes for a healthy and clean city:
physical activity, active mobility and reduced car use in cities,
clean air with reducing pollution from traffic, and
green spaces for good health and well-being of city residents.
Webinar recording: The health benefits of reducing car use and increasing active mobility in cities
In the past decades, urban planning has slowly but surely evolved to better promote active mobility and restrict car use, to make cities more people-friendly. For the first webinar, Fabian Küster (European Cyclists’ Federation), Prof. Łukasz Małek (Cardiologist), and Jens Mueller (Clean Cities Campaign) presented their respective work on active mobility, zero emission zones and how to better encourage and promote walking and cycling. Not only would this make cities more people-friendly, but it would also have positive outcomes for air quality.
Webinar recording: Better health through reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities
The second webinar focused on nitrogen dioxide (NO2), for which road transport is the major emitter in the European Union and in Poland (37% and 35% respectively). It is now well established that NO2 pollution can have many health impacts on respiratory health but also lead to more severe outcomes including hospitalization and premature death.
Prof. Michal Krzyzanowski (Imperial College), Mr. Panagiotis Chaslaridis (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Disease Patients Associations – EFA), and Ms. Anna Gerometta (Cittadini per L’Aria, Italy) presented an overview of the science on the health impacts of NO2, the patient’s perspective, and shared good practice on initiatives for cutting down concentrations of this pollutant of major concern for health.
Webinar recording: The (mental) health benefits of green spaces in cities
The last webinar focused on the importance of green spaces in cities and how beneficial they are for people living in cities in many ways: for air quality, to reduce noise, and to enrich biodiversity. They are therefore a key factor for health, including mental health and well-being in cities.
Dr Mark Nieuwenhuijsen (IS Global), Dr. Marzena Cypryańska-Nezlek (SWPS University, Warsaw), and Luk Bruyneel (Independent Health Insurance Fund) presented their work on the latest evidence on the health benefits of green urban areas and discussed policy measures which could make our cities greener.
Die Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V. (KLUG) und die Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) wenden sich deshalb am Internationalen Tag der Sauberen Luft in einem offenen Brief an Herrn Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz und fordern ihn auf, sich stärker für bessere Luftqualität einzusetzen.