HEALTHY-POLIS: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability
PHE ePoster Library. Vardoulakis S. Sep 13, 2016; 138154; 10
Dr. Sotiris Vardoulakis
Dr. Sotiris Vardoulakis
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Abstract
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Abstract Rapid urbanisation is stretching natural resources and threatening environmental quality. Densely populated urban areas in Europe are facing environmental health challenges including contamination of air, water and soil. Sprawling urban areas worldwide contribute to traffic congestion, with associated air pollution, noise and long commuting times affecting public health and productivity.Climate change is likely to aggravate certain health risks by increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and potentially exacerbating air pollution episodes. On the other hand, climate change mitigation and adaptation policies can provide a range of health co-benefits associated with active transport, low carbon buildings, healthier diets and urban greening.Cities are complex systems that demand systems-based, interdisciplinary research methods involving urban planners, epidemiologists, environmental scientists and public health scientists. Methodological innovation, and standardisation of epidemiological and risk assessment methods across countries, are needed to address complex environmental health challenges in the context of climate change and sustainable development. Relevant areas include the assessment and reduction of the health risks and impacts of weather extremes, air pollution and other forms of environmental contamination, as well as assessing and promoting the potential health benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation.We have created an international consortium for urban environmental health and sustainability to: (1) promote innovation and standardisation in research methods, (2) facilitate international, multi-disciplinary research collaborations, (3) provide training and promote capacity building especially in rapidly urbanising countries, and (4) evaluate and promote environmental interventions to improve public health in cities.
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