What is UBDPolicy?

UBD Policy stands for Urban Burden of Disease Policy.

This EU-funded project is aimed at estimating the health and socioeconomic costs and benefits of air quality, noise, lack of urban green spaces, heat and temperature, physical activity, inequity for nearly 1,000 European cities in EU and monitors 3-year trends and impacts of urban planning, transport planning and environmental policies.

The project started in January 2023 and runs until December 2026.


Improve the estimation of health and well-being impacts and socio-economic costs and/or benefits of major urban environmental stressors.

Advance methodological approaches.

Provide good practice for urban areas to help strengthen evidence-based policy making at city, national and EU level.

Effectively contribute to the development of new and existing urban planning, transport planning and environmental policies, plans and initiatives .

Why is UBDPolicy needed?

In Europe, more than 70% of the population lives in urban areas. Cities have long been known to be society’s predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also a main source of pollution and disease. The way cities are designed and the way their transport is planned affects the health and well-being of the people living in them. We need more accurate and city-specific data to find out which exposures and behaviours are affecting health and how they are doing that in order to be able to find solutions and to inform local policies.

How will UBDPolicy work?

UBDPolicy will use interdisciplinary and systemic approaches bringing together a team of, amongst others, experts and practitioners in urban transport planning, environment and public health, economics, retail and business, education sector, policy analysis, knowledge translation and involve citizens and NGOs.

Project partners

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, is the fruit of an innovative alliance between the “la Caixa” Foundation, academic institutions and government bodies to contribute to the efforts undertaken by the international community to address the challenges in global health.

ISGlobal is a consolidated hub of excellence in research that has grown out of work first started in the world of health care by the Hospital Clínic and the Parc de Salut MAR and in the academic sphere by the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University. Its working model is based on the generation of scientific knowledge through Research Programmes and Groups, and its translation through the areas of Education and Training and Analysis and Global Development.

Its ultimate goal is to help close the gaps in health disparities between and within different regions of the world.


Utrecht University is a wide-range, international research university of high standing. We have a strong connection to the city of Utrecht and our roots lie deep in the past (1636).

Our interdisciplinary research targets four themes:

Life Sciences

Pathways to Sustainability

Dynamics of Youth

Institutions for Open Societies

We are a trailblazer in the field of modernising educational concepts. Our student pass rate is high.

Our teaching and research are strongly connected. We work together in tight communities. We believe equality, diversity and inclusion are important.

All this provides us with a solid base from which to work with others around the globe on the societal issues of the future.


Linnaeus University is located in Växjö and Kalmar and offers over 200 degree programmes and 1500 single-subject courses. You can study different subjects within arts and humanities, health and life sciences, the social sciences, the natural sciences, technology, and business and economics. There are also a number of different contract educations, like the headmaster training and police education.

Research at Linnaeus University is of high quality, nationally as well as internationally, and covers a wide range of disciplines. Particularly prominent is the research carried out within our cutting-edge research environments – our Linnaeus University Centres. Within these centres, everything from ecology and evolution to discrimination and integration, postcolonialism, intermediality, bioscience, and big data is being studied.

With 2,100 employees and more than 44,000 students we strive to be a modern university, with Småland as our base and the world as our stage. To study and work at Linnaeus University means being part of an environment characterised by knowledge and development. Students acquire new knowledge and learn to have a critical approach and researchers make discoveries that can change our society. Employees talk of a work place with both challenges and opportunities and that Linnaeus University is a university where knowledge grows. Together we set knowledge in motion for a sustainable societal development.


The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is the leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the natural and built environments affect health in the European Union (EU) and beyond.

HEAL’s vision is a world in which today’s and future generations can benefit from a clean environment to enjoy long and healthy lives. Lives that are free of health-harming chemicals, where the air we breathe and food we eat and the built environments we live in are health promoting; and a future in which we have transitioned to a toxic free, de-carbonised, climate resilient and sustainable economy and way of life. We demonstrate how policy action can protect health and enhance everyone’s quality of life.


The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department at the University of Cambridge. It is working to improve the health of people in the UK and around the world.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders present a major and growing global public health challenge. These disorders result from a complex interplay between genetic, developmental, behavioural and environmental factors that operate throughout life.

The mission of the Unit is to investigate the individual and combined effects of these factors and to develop and evaluate strategies to prevent these diseases and their consequences.



The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries.

Research, education and services

Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH uniquely combines research, education and services on a local, national and international level. We aim to improve the health and well-being of people through a better understanding of disease and health systems and by acting on this knowledge.

From science to impact

Our translational approach, from innovation and validation to application, enables us to bring novel diagnostics, drugs and vaccines directly to people, communities, policy and decision makers. Throughout, we pursue a spirit of partnership and strive for sustainable impact in over 100 countries.

Broad expertise

More than 900 employees and students work at Swiss TPH, focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions. Our expertise spans from the bench to the field, from basic to operational, from molecular to spatial, and from genes to health systems.


Executive Board

Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

Director or the Air Pollution and Built Environment Programme, ISGlobal.

Stefan Gössling

Stefan Gössling

Professor at School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University.

Gerard Hoek

Gerard Hoek

Associate Professor, Department Population Health Sciences, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University.

Kees de Hoogh

Kees de Hoogh

Group Leader, Environmental Exposure and Health Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH.

Anne Stauffer

Anne Stauffer

Deputy Director, HEAL.

James Woodcock

James Woodcock

Professor of Transport and Health Modelling, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

External Advisory Board (EAB)

Michael Jerrett

Professor | Department of Environmental Health Sciences,

Enrico Pisoni

Scientific Officer, European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Francesca Racioppi

Head of WHO European Centre for Environment and Health

Miriam Weber

Senior policy advisor and healthy city coordinator, Municipality of Utrecht, WHO Healty Cities Network

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