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People who live near green zones are sick less and live longer

“Pollution is the second most important health risk,” says María Neira, WHO director of Public Health. Each year 7 million people around the world die from air pollution.

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By Biocat

Recent scientific studies show that people who live near green zones live longer and have a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, obesity, mental health problems and complications during pregnancy like low birth weight.

Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen believes that “this is largely due to the fact that these people get more exercise and have more social contact, with the corresponding physical and mental health benefits.” Nieuwenhuijsen coordinates the Phenotype project at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) — which is a member of the ISGlobal alliance— and was the scientific leader for the scientific debates entitled Green Cities Healthy People. Planning Healthy Urban Spaces held by B·Debate and CREAL on 30 and 31 October in Barcelona with approximately 25 national and international experts. The Phenotype project, funded through the European Union’s 7th Framework Program, aims to evaluate and identify actions to determine the capacity of public green zones to address health problems both in urban centers and rural areas.

More information on the B·Debate website.


Mark Nieuwenhuijsen (CREAL), Roderick Lawrence (University of Geneva) and María Neira (WHO) - Photo: © Biocat, Jordi Cabanas.