First stakeholder meeting launches in Barcelona

Posted on: 15 February 2017 | By: Alex Smalley

ISGlobal held its first annual stakeholder meeting last week, with over 40 participants discussing the challenges and opportunities blue spaces may represent for health and wellbeing.

The meeting opened with a lecture by Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative and the BlueHealth project lead at ISGlobal.

Mireia Gascon, Postdoctoral Researcher, then presented the latest evidence on the relationship between blue spaces and health. Notably, Mireia drew participants’ attention to findings from a new study, which show that “a greater exposure to blue spaces correlates with improved mental health, wellbeing and more physical activity”.

Gascón also noted that due to a lack of studies in the field, “there is yet little evidence on how blue spaces impact general health, obesity, cardiovascular indicators and longevity”. In order to improve our knowledge in these areas, researchers at ISGlobal are leading several BlueHealth projects:

Thanks to the participation of professionals from backgrounds that include architecture, archaeology, biology, urban planning, and public administration, the event provided a lively debate and opportunities to share good practices and experiences in the Barcelona area.

Attendees also discussed the challenges and opportunities blue spaces can present to health, and how best to integrate these into urban planning decisions. A short video was made by ISGlobal documenting the event, which you can watch below.