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NATURELAB

NATURELAB – Nature based interventions for improving health and well-being

NATURELAB proposes an innovative approach to contribute to resilient and healthy communities, by enhancing the green and blue areas’ benefits.

Grant Agreement Number: 101083857

Funded by: HORIZON      Duration: June 2023 – December 2028


Challenge

Nowadays, over 50% of the human population live in cities and although cities are increasing their blue and green areas, the health care potential of nature areas is not adequately considered.

There is a recognized need to develop and establish scientifically validated protocols to support people to connect with nature in ways designed to improve their specific personal needs.

Consistent information, education, and scientific evidence, including cost-benefit analysis, are needed to boost a change in the approach, and raise new opportunities to turn the ecological transition into an asset for health and well-being.

Innovation

NATURELAB aims to contribute to the recognition, promotion and the use of green and blue spaces as healthcare sites, by investigating the benefits of nature-based therapies (NBT) that promote well-being and support diseases prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Action

This activity is dedicated to establishing and validating indicators to support the characterization of green spaces (forests and urban parks), and horticulture and gardening contexts that have a high potential to promote health and well-being.

This activity aims to define, test and validate the NATURELAB assessment model (e.g., selection criteria for the participants, quantitative and qualitative assessment protocols and experimental designs), produce robust and scientific evidence in the demonstration of the causal relationship and short-, medium- and long-term benefits between nature-based therapeutic programmes and health and well-being.

It aims to design, validate and implement tailored nature-based therapeutic programmes to significantly improve the physical and mental health conditions of the participants in 15 experimental sites in 4 Demonstrator Fellows located in rural, coastal, and urban
areas of five European and Latin American countries (Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, Germany and Peru) that will involve participants with different health conditions.

NATURELAB’s approach for societal uptake and behaviour change for Nature-based therapies (NBT) is based on social experimentation through real-life conditions in order to achieve an inclusive and robust spill-over effect in multiple sectors and to a broader audience.

Within this context, this activity seeks to confirm the sustainability of the NATURELAB methodology through its adoption by the public & private healthcare and social system; to engage local communities and stakeholders in co-shaping NBT in their countries, taking into account the values of nature, and biodiversity; and to propose feasible and realistic NTB policies in each country and at an EU level..

NATURELAB will organise three international workshops, two during the project 2nd and 3rd years, to communicate the results and consult stakeholders on the methodologies and approaches designed, and an International Forum, dedicated to presenting the major findings and guidelines to all stakeholders’ groups, including healthcare professionals and policymakers.

European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Greece
Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Coordinator – Portugal
University Hospital of Cologne – Germany
Forest Therapy Hub Lda – Portugal
BioCon Valley® GmbH – Germany
Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação Cons. Empresarial e Fomento da Inovação, S.A. – Portugal
Asociacion Peruana de Horticultura Terapeutica y Social – Peru
Municipality of Sintra – Portugal
Rio Neiva – Associação de Defesa do Ambiente – Portugal
Wageningen University – Netherlands
Canary Wharf Consulting Limited – UK
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Netherlands
FICUS Peru Desarrolo Socioambiental – Peru

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