Annual BlueHealth Meeting

Posted on: 8 February 2018 | By: Emma Squire

The third annual BlueHealth meeting was held last week, in the beautiful setting of Lake Pühajärv in Southern Estonia.

Hosted by the Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMÜ), the two day meeting provided an opportunity for BlueHealth researchers from across Europe to share updates on their work.

Among the topics of discussion were the latest developments to ‘urban acupuncture’ projects in the UK, Spain, Estonia, Holland, Italy and Portugal. These projects have involved local populations in their designs and, in some cases, construction work to improve the spaces has already begun.

Exciting news about the use of stories to explain possible future scenarios was presented by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and researchers from Lund University demonstrated their latest virtual nature experiences.

 

A man sits in a chair with a VR headset on - a screen behind shows a virtual beach

 

The World Health Organisation also gave a first look at the development of a tool to help planners include BlueHealth findings in their decisions. We’ll be able to share more information on this ‘Decision Support Tool’ shortly.

To ensure the legacy of the BlueHealth project, participants were also encouraged to think about the ultimate impacts of their research on society. To facilitate this, the EMÜ team built an impressive installation which steadily filled up with the range of impacts BlueHealth has both already achieved, and which it aims to achieve. Important next steps will focus on how the project’s methods and findings can be put to use in the real world.

 

Researchers gather at the'impact wall' in Estonia

 

Lake Pühajärv’s snow-covered landscape also led to conversations about the effect this environment might have on people’s health and wellbeing – with some calling for future investigations to incorporate the notion of ‘WhiteHealth’.

We’ll be sharing lots of updates from the meeting in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more. If you’d like to keep abreast of everything BlueHealth, you can sign up to our newsletter using the “Sign up to our mailing list” field at the bottom of this page.

 

40 BlueHealth researchers gather in the snow for a photo