Greener Cities, Healthier Communities

In 2019-2022, City of Espoo took part in the URBACT project, which linked green infrastructure design and management to urban health policies and practices. The project focused on physical, mental and social health benefits of urban greenspaces, as well as their role in improving air quality and reducing heat stress and noise pollution in cities.

The project was co-funded by the European Union. URBACT is a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development through transnational exchange and learning. Health&Greenspace network consisted of nine cities all across the Europe. Read more from the URBACT website: link)

In Espoo, the project was administered by the Environmental Protection Unit from the Environment and Building Control Department.

Espoo´s Integrated Action Plan for health-responsive blue-green infrastructure 2022–2030

The Integrated Action Plan is the main outcome of an Action Planning Network, formed by each partner city. Espoo´s Integrated Action Plan for health-responsive blue-green infrastructure describes the current policy context in Espoo and how the City of Espoo is working for promoting health of its residents through planning and maintenance of greenspaces. The action plan comprises mainly of actions, which direct the future work towards integrated urban development and healthy urban environments. The Integrated Action Plan of Espoo was conducted in close cooperation within the city organisation and with the local community.

Health nature trail Design Guide

As a Small Scale Action, Espoo elaborated and published a Design Guide on planning and implementing a health nature trail. The guide describes the co-planning process of Olari health nature trail, which was implemented in Espoo Central Park in 2019. The health nature trail was established following an initiative by Olari-seura residents´association, and nearly 20 organisations took part in the design process.

With the help of the design guide, other cities and residents' associations can also create their own health nature trail through an inclusive process by utilising active local residents and organisations in the design of their outdoor route.

Health&Greenspace — Greener Cities, Healthier Communities

Read more: link)