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Understanding the evidence

Assessing population-level evidence from across Europe [WP2]

BlueHealth is using evidence synthesis techniques to develop a clear picture of existing research into urban blue spaces and health promotion. Through a comprehensive pan-European survey, it is mapping evidence across the continent and exploring the economic values of the health and wellbeing benefits blue infrastructure might provide.

This research is led by Mathew White.

Community interventions

Examining the impacts of focused experiments [WP3]

Through a series of small-scale interventions, BlueHealth is investigating how localised projects to improve the use of blue spaces can affect their recreational use and impact on physical activity and mental wellbeing. Natural experiments are taking place in different environmental and socioeconomic settings in the UK, Spain and Greece.

This research is led by Mark Nieuwenhuijsen.

Virtual realities

Exploring the role of virtual environments in healthcare [WP4]

BlueHealth is exploring how virtual environments might be used in health and social care settings to boost wellbeing for elderly, vulnerable and infirm populations. It is designing an interactive and mobile virtual reality system, and using these highly controlled settings to provide a theoretical basis for the planning of blue spaces in the real world.

This research is led by Maria Albin.

Landscape & urban planning

Optimising ‘blue infrastructure’ for health [WP5]

The access and use of urban blue spaces is controlled by their design. BlueHealth researchers are assessing the impact of planning practices intended to support the use of blue infrastructure at both a city and local level. They are providing guidance on how to improve access, aesthetic value, and the motivation to visit these spaces, whilst also minimising risks.

This research is led by Simon Bell.

Future scenarios

Evaluating the impact of future environmental change [WP6]

BlueHealth is developing scenarios that explore how rapidly changing climates and environments will affect our relationships with urban blue infrastructure. Looking forward to 2050, these scenarios are considering impacts on flooding, water quality and urban heat islands, and suggesting strategies to help societies adapt.

This research is led by Susanne Wuijts.

Translating the evidence

Putting BlueHealth findings into practice [WP7]

By combining its science with information gathered from a broad range of policy makers, BlueHealth is helping to inform the decision-making process for urban blue infrastructure. It will design policies, tools and recommendations to maximise the benefits of these environments, and place these in the context of ongoing environmental and climatic change across Europe.

This research is led by Tanja Wolf.

Innovation & engagement

Catalysing interactions with the public & private sector [WP8]

Public, patient and private sector partnerships are central to the success of BlueHealth. These collaborations are ensuring the programme’s research is informed by real-world issues, and are helping to develop commercial applications that can put academic findings into practice.

This work is led by Denis Sarigiannis.