The virtual launch of GOGREEN ROUTES was hosted by the University of Limerick last week, on Monday, 20th of July. ICEP Europe is proud to be a partner on this exciting project along with almost 40 other stakeholders. This project has received €10.5 million in funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation fund. The four-year project, which applies visionary and integrated solutions to improve health in cities, will commence in September, coordinated by the Health Research Institute at UL.
GOGREEN ROUTES will also take Covid-19 into consideration, evaluating the impact of reduced air pollution during and after lockdown, as well as the impact on mental health of urban citizens and their views on re-greening their cities. We know that green spaces were used during this period for mental health, physical health and connection with the community and spending more time outdoors could help with the reduced transmission of the disease.
Dr. Tadhg MacIntyre from the University of Limerick said "We aim to create a unique knowledge ecosystem to transform citizens, planners, researchers and entrepreneurs into innovators, leaders and visionaries in nature-based solutions. Nature is our future."
The project will cultivate technological and nature-based solutions for health across six cities - Burgas, Bulgaria; Lahti, Finland; Umea, Sweden; Versailles, France and Limerick - and lay a foundation for future implementation in Munich, Germany, the Murcia region of Spain in the Gzira municipality of Malta. The project also has partners in China, Mexico and Georgia, enabling a global knowledge exchange and a focus on mental health and well-being.
The project has three themes - Building Back Better; Re-naturing Cities for Health; and Future-proofing for Digital Natives.
Martin Rogan, CEO Mental Health Ireland, said, "We are well aware of the benefits of nature for mental health but the challenge has been how to best translate knowledge into impact. Uniquely, GO GREEN ROUTES will co-create a mental health scorecard for cities which will highlight their contribution to prevention, commitment to rights of persons with psycho-social disabilities and empowerment or users of services - this combination of organic and structured supports will make a long-lasting contribution to the well-being of Irish citizens."