Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Citizens And Scientists Hand In Hand In The Search For Urban Wellbeing

3 min read
Written by

Feel Therapeutics

Today 70% of European citizens live in cities. That number is increasing daily and, because of sub-optimal planning, is already endangering biodiversity and affecting human health and social cohesion. European and international cities face crucial global geopolitical, economic, environmental, and other changes, that intensify threats to and inequalities in citizens’ health.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to change our perception on urban living by creating more livable, healthier and efficient cities with a positive impact on our physical and emotional health?

The euPOLIS project is an innovative philosophy of urban planning incorporating nature-based solutions (NBS) in the urban landscape. The purpose of these nature-based solutions is to create a sustainable healthy and pleasant environment, improve water and air quality and revitalize the soil and re-establish urban biodiversity. An invaluable team of experts from various fields and all parts of the world, will tackle all aspects and layers of the societal and environmental conditions.

It is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program and coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens — NTUA. The project is interconnecting the knowledge and experience of 28 partnering entities from all around the globe, in an effort to bring nature back to cities. The intentions of the project are reflected in its title “euPOLIS”, redefining the meaning of a city (POLIS) by a prefix “eu” which stands for “good”, “well”, “happily” in Greek (pronounced “evPolis”), and as the symbol of the European Union values.

The EuPOLIS project aims to use nature-based solutions (NBS), that have significant environmental and economic benefits, in future city planning to improve public health and wellbeing. The program has already started a process of planning interventions in 4 demonstration cities (Belgrade, Lodz, Piraeus, and Gladsaxe) to map the challenges and identify the citizens’ needs and preferences towards a happier urban environment.

The Feel Emotion Sensor will be used to monitor and assess the impact of all NBS interventions on hundreds of participants across these four cities. The Feel Emotion Sensor is a wearable digital therapeutics mental health device that uses proprietary algorithms to continuously monitor a person’s emotional state. Essentially, it can translate bio-signals (such as electro-dermal activity, heart rate variability and skin temperature) into emotions and digital biomarkers for mental health, eliminating the need to ask people to manually complete surveys and questionnaires.

Feel will monitor and analyze both the short and long-term impact and value of the NBS interventions on people’s stress and anxiety levels by quantifying the pre- and post-implementation levels. Together with other euPOLIS partners, the National Technical University of Athens and Feel Therapeuticshope to create resilient urban ecosystems that improve people’s quality of life by providing them with open public spaces that improve local environmental conditions, and stimulate social exchanges and inclusivity.

For more information, please visit: www.eupolis-project.eu

euPOLIS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program H2020-EU.3.5.2., under grant agreement No 869448.

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