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The majority of people in the EU live in cities, and according to the EU Commission, the rate of urbanisation is set to further increase. 

The quality of life in cities is a topic of increasing importance for policy makers and city residents alike, and many decision makers have initiated policies and programmes for clean, climate- and people-friendly cities. 

Based on the understanding that the quality of the environment is a major determinant of people’s health, this new HEAL webinar series engaging international public health and environment experts aims 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.

The webinar series is open to health sector representatives, who want to build their knowledge on the relevant science, and anyone interested and working on the topics of healthy transport and healthy cities.

Tuesday, 13 June: The health benefits of reducing car use and increasing active mobility in cities

While city infrastructure over the past decades has focused on expanding roads and enabling a smooth flow of cars, things are slowly but surely changing. Many cities now promote walking and cycling, and are looking to restrict car use, as part of making cities more people-friendly. 

The aim of the webinar is to showcase the health and clean air benefits of active mobility and curbing air pollutant emissions, and present good practice examples from across the EU. 

Speakers include Fabian Küster, European Cyclists’ Federation, Prof. Łukasz Małek, Cardiologist, Jens Mueller, Clean Cities Campaign.


Tuesday, 20 June: Better health through reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities

Road transport is the major emittor of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the European Union and in Poland, with 37% and 35% respectively. 

In recent years, the body of evidence on how NO2 can harm health has steadily grown. Health impacts range from short-term impacts on respiratory health to more severe outcomes including hospitalisation and premature death. Ahead of a crucial vote in the European Parliament on a stricter EU legal limit for NO2, the webinar aims to present an overview of the science on the health impacts of NO2, the patient’s perspective, and share good practice on initiatives for cutting down concentrations of this pollutant of major concern for health. 

Speakers include Prof. Michal Krzyzanowski, Imperial College, Mr. Panagiotis Chaslaridis, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Disease Patients Associations (EFA), Ms. Anna Gerometta, Cittadini per L’Aria, Italy.


Wednesday, 28 June: The (mental) health benefits of green spaces in cities

Green spaces in cities – parks, urban forests or trees in the streets – are beneficial in many ways: they improve local air quality, reduce noise, and enrich biodiversity. They help to keep urban areas cool, and they provide residents with opportunities to be physically active and engage with others. They are important for both climate mitigation and adaptation in cities.

Green spaces are thus a key factor for health, including mental health and well-being in cities. 

In the webinar, we want to present recent evidence on the health benefits of green urban areas and discuss policy measures which could make our cities greener. 

Speakers include Dr Mark  Nieuwenhuijsen, IS Global, Dr. Marzena Cypryańska-Nezlek, SWPS University, Warsaw,  Luk Bruyneel, Independent Health Insurance Fund.



EDIT: The recordings of these webinars can be found here

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