Improving health, wellbeing and equality by evidenced-based urban policies for tackling energy poverty
Energy poverty is becoming a main challenge of the European welfare systems and beyond, abounding on the inequalities derived from living conditions and social determinants, with a direct and negative impact on health and wellbeing, mainly in urban contexts. Health problems attributable to energy poverty include respiratory diseases, heart attacks, stroke and mental disorders (stress, anxiety, depression), but also acute health issues, such as hypothermia, injuries or influenza.
The complex nature of this recently identified phenomenon requires a comprehensive analysis of the problem and its solution from a multidimensional approach, which should involve environmental, political, social, regulatory and psychological issues, thus involving other Social Determinants of Health and health inequalities Urban policies and initiatives might respond very efficiently to energy poverty and their effects on the citizens wellbeing and health, by providing evidence-based interventions covering different angles of the challenges, including complementary actions covering individual (behavioural) but also social-political actions (regulations, urban planning) that include health in all policies.
Based on the socio ecological model and on the realist evaluation approach, WELLBASED will design, implement and evaluate a comprehensive urban programme to reduce energy poverty and their effects on the citizens health and wellbeing, built on evidence-based approaches in 7 different pilot cities, representing different urban realities but also a diverse range of welfare and healthcare models.
WELLBASED brings together 18 partners from 10 countries. Municipalities, research institutes and NGOs covering various disciplines including scientific, clinical, social and environmental skills.
INCLIVA’s work in the WellBased project focuses on the design of the evaluation methodology and on the impact that the intervention on elements of energy poverty has on the incidence and evolution of the health parameters (blood pressure, oxygen saturation and quality of sleep), as well as on the use of health resources (necessity to attend unscheduled visits to physicians, emergency departments or hospitalization). During the development of the project, it will participate in the collection and analysis of health information from the different countries in which the field study will be carried out.
In addition, INCLIVA is responsible for the design and monitoring of the ethical and data protection aspects of the project, given the consolidated experience in other large-scale European projects.
WELLBASED has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 945097.