Designing and planning effective urban blue spaces

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The first online tool to assess blue spaces has just been launched. Designed and developed by the CMCC Foundation in the framework of the BlueHealth project, it will help users to make a holistic assessment of any given blue space while identifying risks and maximizing the benefits to public health and the environment.

Cities all over the world are investing in urban blue infrastructure to maximise the health benefits of blue spaces to improve urban quality of life.
Blue spaces have both functional and recreational purposes. They play a fundament role in society by providing drinking water, transportation, economic opportunities, energy generation and sewage treatment. They also potentially mitigate public health challenges by promoting healthy lifestyle activities that prevent symptoms of mental health disorders, inactivity and obesity.
Yet, blue spaces are also associated with health hazards, ranging from accidental injuries to vector-borne diseases. Potential risks and benefits need to be identified before they can be managed or prevented through urban infrastructure design and planning.

BlueHealth, funded by Horizon 2020, has created a bespoke online tool to support the effective planning and design of urban blue spaces like rivers, canals and harbours.
Led by BlueHealth researchers at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Decision Support Tool (DST) is the first tool designed to help local decision makers to assess blue spaces with a focus on health and wellbeing.

Designed and developed by the CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), the DST can be accessed online and applied to different urban and rural blue spaces. An important part of the extensive BlueHealth Toolbox, the tool will help blue space managers to minimize risks and maximize benefits to public health and the environment.

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