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RG3 : Promoting healthy lives in sustainable and inclusive societies

Environmental and living conditions in urban environments are a key priority as they impact substantially the health and wellbeing of the majority of European citizens. Health statistics indicate that despite higher exposures to negative environmental agents, life-expectancy in Europe is higher in urban than in rural areas. Sustainable mobility, resource usage such as energy consumption, water and food, and healthy occupational settings are required to promote healthy living in urban areas. Healthy living in rural areas implies some of the same needs but likely in a different and often underexplored fashion.

 The research gaps identified in this area are cross-cutting and pursue integrated and holistic approaches directly addressing the vision of the HERA interim research agenda. Specifically, research in this area faces challenges such as, i) Drivers of the interventions are often responses to global change and its challenges and therefore ignorant of potential health impacts (see also RG1); ii) Interventions in environmental settings and living conditions are longterm, by definition complex and nearly always alter multiple exposures with small impacts on health per se (see also RG2); iii) Interventions affect to a varying degree specific diseases as well as wellbeing and their potential to promote healthy living may vary by life-stage and morbidity states (see also RG4); iv) Methods for complex assessments of long-term changes are just evolving (see also RG5) and v) Based on the complexity of the potential interventions, large infrastructures and especially large cohort studies spanning across the lifecourse and implementing long-term follow-ups in multiple European countries are needed to gather novel data on these issues and inform needed impact assessments (see also RG6).

RG 3.1 Healthy Urban Environments

  Provide a comprehensive assessment of healthy urban environments

  Establish role of healthy urban environments

  Large scale cohorts mapping the Europe-wide setting and integrating ongoing long-term efforts

  Identification of health benefits of mobility

  Research assessing the link between urbanisation, climate change and health

RG 3.2 Clean air policies

  Provide innovative research to support future comprehensive clean air policies

  Impact of air pollution on multiple diseases

  Implementation research is needed to guide future interventions and novel technological developments

RG 3.3 changing work and employment conditions

  Priority areas focus on rapidly changing work and employment conditions

RG 3.4 Digitalisation

  Research assessing its health impact from environmental perspectives

RG 3.5 Food, ecosystem services and farming

  Identify protective features of ecosystem services and traditional farming

  Develop environmental risk assessment approaches to investigate how to redesign the food system

RG 3.6 Health co-benefits and harms and social inequalities in a transition period

  Identification of health co-benefits and harms of the transition to a zero carbon

  Research on health consequences of expected sectorial changes

  Research to study technological solutions to improve environmental conditions

  Research addressing jointly the long-term impacts of economic, social and environmental conditions

RG 3.7 Methods in implementation research

  Develop methods to study the efficiency of implementation of change in the field of environment and health

Research approaches that integrate observational studies and experiments