IFLA Advisory Circle Article: June 2018

Advisory CircleAssessing relevant knowledge related to types and characteristics of urban green and blue spaces having a significant impact on human health and well-being

Author: Maria Beatrice Andreucci, member of IFLA Advisory Circle

Urban areas, hosting two thirds of the population of the European Region, are often unhealthy places to live, characterized by heavy traffic, pollution, noise, abuse and social segregation especially for disadvantaged people, adolescents and young families. To reduce negative mental health effects of environmental degradation and climate change, functional and healthy ecosystems in cities are a necessity. In particular, Green Infrastructure: green (land) and blue (water) spaces that can improve environmental conditions and therefore citizens’ health and quality of life.Recent studies demonstrated that provision of ecosystem services associated with human health do not consistently depend on the amount of the greenery, but rather quality of that vegetated open spaces. Another emerging research area called evidence-based design has investigated the influence of exposure to different types and components of the landscape on bio-physical responses and selfreported health measures. These findings illustrate the need to systematise the available knowledge about the types and components of urban green & blue spaces and their likely positive impact on mental health, and also to identify the research gaps in knowledge that should be filled in the future.EKLIPSE is a EU funded project to facilitate linkages between science, policy and society, through different actions, such as knowledge synthesis, identifying research priorities, and building networks of knowledge holders and users. EKLIPSE has been asked to support the conduct of a systematic, multidisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge assessment about “the types and components of urban green & blue spaces and their likely positive impact on mental health”. This work will be conducted by a group of 13 European experts (EKLIPSE EXPERT WORKING GROUP) within the next 12 months. Two members of IFLA ADVISORY CIRCLE will contribute to this project: Maria Beatrice Andreucci (Sapienza University of Rome, co-chair and member of the EWG) and Alessio Russo (FEFU, member of the EWG).

Maria Beatrice Andreucci (co-chair), Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, 00196, Italy;
Barbara Livoreil, Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité, Paris, 75005, France;
Agnieszka O. Guizzo, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117576, Singapore;
Sjerp de Vries (co-chair), Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, the Netherlands;
Annamaria Lammel (co-chair), Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint- Denis, 93526, France
Alessio Russo, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, 690922, Russia;
Liz O’brien, Forest Research, Farnham, GU32 3ER, United Kingdom
Zoe Davies, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Canterbury, CT2 7NR, United Kingdom
Julie Glanville, University of York, York, YO10 5NH, United Kingdom;
Hans Keune, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2610 Belgium

Melissa R. Marselle, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Liepzig, 04103, Germany.
Roy Remmen, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, B-2610 Belgium
Hanna Wood. University of York, York, YO10 5NH, United Kingdom
IFLA Europe were involved in the first EKLIPSE project through the Blue Green Infrastructure working group and lead input from Leor Lovinger as project manager of the group. Results of that EKLIPSE project is available at http://www.eklipse-mechanism.eu/eklipse_outputs_reports and the report is titled ‘ an evaluation framework for nature’