CitieS-Health, a project whose goal is to place the environmental concerns of citizens at the heart of the research agenda, officially kicked off in Barcelona on February 5 and 6. CitieS Health will seek solutions to issues posed by citizen participants in five pilot studies that will take place in Spain, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia, and Netherlands. It will also create models for citizen science projects that can be used by anyone, scientist or not, to develop his or her own research based on citizen participation.

CitieS-Health is funded by the European Horizon 2020 Programme in the category of Science with and for Society (SwafS). It involves six partners from five European countries and is coordinated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).

The city of Barcelona will host one of the five pilot studies of the project, coordinated by ISGlobal and Ideas for Change and focused on the interrelation between air pollution and health. This will also be the topic for the pilot study in Tuscany, Italy, to be coordinated by the social enterprise Epidemiologia e Prevenzione. Kaunas, Lithuania, will host a pilot study on the relationship between urban design, physical activity and health, orchestrated by the Vytautas Magnus University (VDU). In Ljubljana (Slovenia), the Jozef Stefan Institute will carry out a study focusing on noise generated by traffic and in schools. Finally, in Zutphen and Amsterdam (Netherlands), the Utrecht University will coordinate a pilot study on the health effects of pollution from burning wood.

“There are not many citizen science projects yet that link environment and health. Our goal is to make Cities-Health as participative as possible. We want to develop tools that help empower citizens on issues that directly affect them,” explains Xavier Basagaña, ISGlobal researcher and project coordinator.

In addition to specific sessions dedicated to the different work packages, the CitieS-Health kick-off meeting included sessions on other Horizon 2020-Swafs led by Luca Ceccaroni, expert in management and impact of citizen science at EarthWatch Institute, Rosa Arias, coordinator of D-NOSES and María Jesús Pinazo, coordinator of InSPIRES.

The CitieS-Health project is funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, through Grant Agreement No 824484.