The HEART project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 945105.Project outline
The 48-month HEART project, 'HEAlthier Cities through Blue-Green Regenerative Technologies: the HEART Approach' (start date 1 March 2021), aims to significantly improve urban health and reduce health disparities through an innovative urban planning methodology that embraces and promotes the policymaking of proper Blue-Green (BG)-based technologies with techniques for changing individual citizens' behaviour.
European and international cities face major challenges resulting from global geopolitical, economical, climate and other changes. This intensifies inequalities in health due to several factors such as living conditions, health-related behaviour, education, occupation and income. Urban areas are under huge pressure to enhance policies in order to become more sustainable and liveable, as well as to provide environments and social fabric that support Public Health (PH) and Wellbeing (WB). The conventional approach to urban and revitalisation planning is based mostly on profit criteria with routine methodologies often lacking advanced integrated methods and concepts that emphasise health, societal and environmental aspects (including Climate Change (CC). Moreover, local communities' needs are neglected, meaning that cities often end up with solutions that are not embraced by local communities and citizens.
To address these challenges, the HEART project aims to comprehensively address factors influencing public health and wellbeing with the objective of improving urban health and reducing health disparities through changes in the individual behaviour of citizens, stimulated by different policies. This will include advanced BG-based urban design, where PH, WB and environmental quality will be intrinsically built-in to all phases of planning and implementation. The strong involvement of local communities will encourage them to embrace new solutions.Project goals
The HEART project targets the following Scientific & Technical Objectives (STO):STO1
. To create a Community of Practices group that will exchange best practices and policies among relevant stakeholders in public health, including experts in socio-economic issues.STO2
. To develop and demonstrate effective actions to improve PH and WB in urban environments.STO3
. To build an intervention-aimed liveability model rooted in community needs and engaging communities' diverse potential to embrace change.STO4
. To motivate citizens towards changing their own behaviour - daily habits - to improve their PH and WB.STO5
. To monitor, assess and quantify the customised solutions' impact on PH and WB using both clinical and non-clinical settings, as well as considering social and environmental aspects.STO6
. To scrutinise the results of monitoring and establish a set of quantifiable indicators that synergise the interaction between BG solutions with PH and WB.STO7
. To establish long-term data platforms securing consistent data points about the impacts of the approaches employed, mainly regarding PH and WB, and ensure interoperability with other relevant data infrastructures for effective public consultation, exchange and sharing of practices/experiences.STO8
. To produce guidance for the introduction of innovative health-related criteria, based on the consolidated results from all previous STOs, to become compulsory components of urban planning and approval processes.STO9
. To widely and effectively communicate and disseminate project results to various audiences through targeted activities, clustering with projects and initiatives (national, European and international ones), aiming to spread the HEART concept and further support the policymaking efforts.STO10
. To identify health-based business models driven primarily from the BG solutions and develop new resource activation techniques, while promoting policymaking and standardisation in urban PH and WB, as well as new governance models.Our input
Resilience Guard will lead three major tasks:
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- Managing GDPR compliance, knowledge and information management for the project.
- Getting the project up-and-running and communicating project developments.
- Assessing the spill over effects of blue-green solutions on the local economy.