Nature impact on mental health distribution

(Lien vers la page française: cliquez ici)

The NAMED project investigates how the built and non-built environment impact the mental wellbeing of Brussels’ citizens. Mental illnesses appear as a growing problem in modern societies, tending to be more frequent in big cities. In Belgium, the national health surveys (Health Interview Survey, HIS) underlined a degradation of the mental health of the population: the proportion of respondents presenting psychological difficulties rose from 25% to 32% between 2008 and 2013. Strikingly, these symptoms are more prevalent in the Brussels-Capital Region (40%) than in Wallonia (35%) or in Flanders (29%) (Survey 2013). Several international studies have shown that the built environment has negative impacts on mental health, while others highlighted the beneficial impacts of natural areas on this component, stress, but also more generally on well-being. In Belgium, only limited research is currently available. The NAMED project tackles the topic with different research perspectives. From a quantitative perspective, HIS data are used to investigate the relationships between mental health and the built/non-built environment, while accounting for demographic, socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, air and noise pollution. To do so, indicators describing each participant’s place of residence are developed using geographical information systems and monitoring tools. In parallel, from a qualitative analysis perspective, Brussels residents are interviewed to record individual perceptions about the quality of their living environment, on their mental wellbeing and on the link between those two. Local stakeholders and experts are also consulted through focus groups and extended peer evaluation of  the results. By gathering specialists in social, geographical, medical, epidemiology sciences and involving citizens and local stakeholders of the Brussels-Capital Region, the project intends to combine disciplines and perspectives in order to get a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Period: 1/04/17 → 31/03/21


Symposium Urban Health Brussels 19th October 2021

On the 19th of October 2021, from 9 am until 1 pm, the symposium "Urban Health in Brussels" will be held at the VUB in a hybrid form. During this symposium the two research projects NAMED (fundedby Belspo and executed by Universiteit Antwerpen, UCLouvain, Sciensano, INBO and UHasselt) and Green &Quiet-Brussels (funded by Innoviris) executed by Interface Demography and KULeuven) and will present the measured and perceived impact of the living environment (built environment, air quality, noise and public green spaces) on the healthand wellbeing of Brussels’ inhabitants. The presentation of the results will be followed by a panel discussion on the implications and potential policy actions in Brussels. Theevent will be bilingual, in both Dutch and French.

Here you find the tentative programme.

Here you can subscribe for the event.