News from CREAL
A new €6 million research project recently launched, aiming to shed light on how coasts and rivers affect the health of populations across Europe. The European-funded BlueHealth programme is being led by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School’s Truro campus in Cornwall (United Kingdom), with the participation of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), an ISGlobal allied centre, in Barcelona (Spain), and others partners of leading institutions from Sweden, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and Italy.
Europe has 91,000 km of coastline and more than half of its population live within 50 km of the sea. Yet whilst the average city-dweller resides just 2.5 km from a freshwater source such as a river, lake or canal, there has been little research into the health impacts of these ‘blue’ environments.
Building on pioneering work already completed in the South West, the BlueHealth project will analyse how improved access to these spaces can maximise their wellbeing benefits, while also investigating their potential risks. Over a four and a half year period, the research team will assess the effects of large scale projects such as dockland regeneration in Estonia and flood-proofing in the Netherlands, as well as smaller initiatives like canal cycle paths in Italy and coastal walking in the UK.