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Urban Strategies for Health Promotion

University of Groningen

A guided tour through Groningen, one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities and saturated with architectural gems designed by international star designers, kick starts a Summer School that introduces its participants to the ins and outs of today’s healthy cities concept.

Improving public health by architectural and urban interventions is nothing new. Since the introduction of sewage systems in the mid-nineteenth century, planners and engineers continued to add new methods and design approaches that should help to make citizens healthier. Although these approaches were triggered by concrete problems in specific urban settings, they as valid today as in the context that produced them.

Today’s cities are a collage of districts and neighborhoods from different periods. They exemplify different urban models that are characteristic for the time they were designed. After the general introduction to the city, the participants will get to know four of these models, their primary task being to compare their health effects and explore ways to improve them. All except the most recent neighborhoods have witnessed waves of change – sometimes they were modified several times. In terms of public health, cities show striking inequalities and the division lines often coincides with the borders between urban districts and neighborhoods. The Summer School results in a comparative study that combines

  • the analysis of the architectural and urban characteristics;
  • mapping of the daily rhythms of the inhabitants, and
  • an examination of public health data.

Finally, the policies to enhance equitably health should be discussed (for architects and urbanists, designs can be a form to express these policies).

This Summer School confronts its participants with the need to develop multi- and transdisciplinary ways of working that combine the expertise of spatial designers, governance experts, community workers, public health experts, professionals in the field of urban studies, architectural and urban historians, and cultural historians. This allows them to get a complete picture of (health) inequalities in Western European cities and address all aspects of the problem in an integrated way.

While working on the city, the Summer School invites its participants to work on their own health: they need to do a lot of walking and cycling, and will have ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation and sports.

The programme is based on two pillars: lectures, and work onsite.

Location Groningen, Netherlands
7 Jul 2019 - 12 Jul 2019
Levels Bachelor / Undergraduate
Master / Graduate
Credits 1.0 ECTS
Program fee 255 EUR
Accommodation fee 215 EUR
Application deadline 1 May 2019
Entry requirements None
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