HAW Hamburg and FH Erfurt research "urban walkability"

How exercise-friendly are cities and districts?
29 December 2020
Luftaufnahme Alster

The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is putting EUR 400,000 towards the “Health Impact Assessment in Urban Development" (GFA-Stadt) research project until autumn 2023. The joint project by the Competence Center Health (CCG) at HAW Hamburg and the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication (ISP) at the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt explores how urban planning boosts healthy physical activities. 

Higher standard of living and improved health

The health impact assessment procedure rates the positive and negative impacts of municipal projects to avoid health risks and to boost the health of the population: "The main objective is to develop a comprehensive, integrated and participatory model for health impact assessment of municipalities in Germany. An online tool is used for the practical implementation," said Professor Dr Joachim Westenhöfer, of CCG at HAW Hamburg, and joint project manager. 

The project is being implemented in co-operation with the district of Eimsbüttel and districts in Gera. The focus is on so-called walkability or ease of movement. Improved walkability can improve the standard of living and health of residents. It encourages a more active and healthier lifestyle, social interaction and the environment becomes cleaner.

Interdisciplinary research team

The project is being conducted by an interdisciplinary research team consisting of health scientists, urban planners and computer scientists at the CCG and the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication. The three-year research project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the programme "Research at Universities of Applied Sciences - FH Sozial".