Research team

Expertise

Environmental epidemiology. Health effects of air pollution, green spaces, and environmental microbiome.

Realizing potentials of nature-based climate shelters in school environments for urban transformation 01/03/2022 - 28/02/2025

Abstract

COOLSCHOOLS is a transdisciplinary applied urban research project that examines the transformative potential of nature-based solutions (NBS) to support the creation of climate shelters in European school environments. We assess how nature-based climate shelters can drive social-ecological transformations towards urban sustainability, climate resilience, social justice, and quality education at multiple urban scales (from schools to metropolitan region) and translate them into practical building capacity for school communities and beyond. Building on pioneering pilot NBS projects of school transformation in Barcelona, Brussels, Paris, and Rotterdam, COOLSCHOOLS unravels the specificities of each context and finds common patterns related to climate shelters transformation capacities, focusing on marginalized groups. Through participatory and co-creation methodologies, we propose an interdisciplinary approach that combines natural, bio-medical, social, and education sciences. To further promote a holistic approach to school climate shelters transformation capacities, we will actively disseminate the pilots' best practice and key learnings among city governments, urban planners, companies, school communities and other relevant stakeholders. The consortium's cross-sectoral composition ensures active multi-stakeholder involvement through an urban living lab and other co-engagement actions, that are planned to boost reflection and learning, and the wider use of COOLSCHOOLS outputs.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Social Epidemiology & Health Policy (SEHPO)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Exposure to surrounding green space during early life and the development of the respiratory system up to early adulthood. A prospective epidemiological study 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

The effects of green spaces on respiratory health are unclear. Potential reasons for inconsistencies across studies are the study design (cross-sectional or short follow-ups), exposure measurement being limited to the residence, and limited consideration of potential mediators and modifiers (e.g. oxidative stress, maternal stress during pregnancy). Therefore, we propose a longitudinal study investigating the association of early life exposure to green spaces with respiratory outcomes up to adulthood. This project is based on a recently granted FWO project (see application). The project will use the PIPO birth cohort, containing information from birth to adolescence on the development of allergies, respiratory symptoms, lung function, anthropometrics, and allergic sensitization. This project will add an early adulthood (20-24y) follow-up to the PIPO-data. Addresses (residences, day care/school/work) will be linked to measures of land use and greenness (Corine Land Cover, NDVI, etc.), and air pollutants. Further, measures of oxidative stress (9y) will be done using existing samples. Using that data, we will consider mediation effects of air pollution, body mass index, and oxidative stress during childhood. Direct and indirect effects of early life exposure to green spaces will be assessed through mediation analyses.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Social Epidemiology & Health Policy (SEHPO)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Exposure to surrounding green space during early life and the development of the respiratory and immune systems up to early adulthood. A prospective epidemiological study. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

The effects of green spaces on allergy and respiratory health are unclear. Potential reasons for inconsistencies across studies are the study design (cross-sectional or short follow-ups), exposure measurement being limited to the residence, and limited consideration of potential mediators and modifiers (e.g. oxidative stress, maternal stress during pregnancy). Therefore, we propose a longitudinal study investigating the association of early life exposure to green spaces with respiratory and allergic outcomes up to adulthood. The project will use the PIPO birth cohort, containing information on early life exposure to residential green spaces, and the development of allergies, respiratory symptoms, lung function anthropometrics, and allergic sensitization from birth to adulthood. This project will add an early adulthood (20-24y) follow-up to the PIPO-data. Addresses (residences, day care/school/work) will be linked to measures of land use and greenness (Corine Land Cover, NDVI, etc.), and air pollutants. Further, measures of oxidative stress (9y) and cortisol in newborn hair (maternal stress) will be done using existing samples. Using that data, we will consider mediation effects of air pollution, body mass index, maternal stress during pregnancy, and oxidative stress during childhood. Direct and indirect effects of early life exposure to green spaces will be assessed through mediation analyses, and effect modification by maternal stress during pregnancy will be tested.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Social Epidemiology & Health Policy (SEHPO)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project