Urbanisation is a problem that has been recently recognised by the WHO as posing major dangers to health: with more than 50% of the world’s population living in urban areas, it is inevitable that landscapes and their qualities will change. Moreover, urban environments tend to discourage physical activity and promote unhealthy food consumption which, in combination with their hectic pace might lead to lifestyle related diseases.
Preventive Medicine and Public Health researchers are looking for ways to prevent illness, improve quality of life and reduce the negative effects of urbanisation on the health of the population. The effect of Landscapes on health, as well as their potential in improving is the subject of the second International Conference on Landscape and Health , which is hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. The conference will take place on 24th and 25th of January 2012 in Birmensdorf, near Zürich, Switzerland and will focus on the following:
(a) Developing an interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship between landscape and health
(b) Determining the relevance of the landscape for health from the perspectives of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and medical sciences (including environmental medicine)
(c) Establishing the basis for interdisciplinary communication and policy concerning landscape and health
With speakers such as Professor Michael Jerrett ( School of Public Healh, University of California, Berkeley), Professor Dr Ludwig Trepl (Technische Universität Μünchen) and Professor Richard Mitchell (Universtiy of Glasgow) this conference is not to be missed by anyone interested in Enviroment and Health!
For those not familiar with the concept of landscapes and heatlh, we recommend this review by Andrea Abraham, Kathrin Sommerhalder and Professor Thomas Abel that was published in IJPH, as well as this Editorial on housing and health promotion by Professor Roderick Lawrence , also published in IJPH.