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UBDPolicy to Assess the Burden of Disease Related to Urban Living in 1,000 European Cities

This new project will study the evolution of air pollution, noise, temperature, natural spaces and physical activity in Europe.

UBD Policy project team
Photo: ISGlobal

On 16 and 17 May 2023, Barcelona hosted the official launch meeting of UBDPolicy, a project that will undoubtedly be a talking point over the next three years. Urban Burden of Disease Policy - or UBDPolicy - aims to examine in depth and on a large scale the health problems derived from urban life. To do this, it will look at 1,000 European cities and conduct health impact studies of various exposures and behaviours related to urban environments, such as air pollution, noise, temperature, green and blue spaces and physical activity.

In addition to its own website (which will soon be available at, UBDPolicy will rely on the ISGlobal Ranking of cities, where it will publish all the datasets it generates. Beyond the Ranking of Cities, focused specifically in 2015, UBDPolicy will carry out evaluations of the same cities over a three-year time series, which will not only make it possible to compare some cities with others, but also to observe the evolution of the same city over time.

In parallel, the UBDPolicy team will subject some cities to closer scrutiny in order to produce a number of case studies.

UBDPolicy has a total budget of €4.4 million, of which €2.7 million has been provided by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe programme, with the remaining €1.7 million coming from the UK and Swiss governments.

The project is coordinated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) under the direction of researcher Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, with the participation of the universities of Utrecht (UU, The Netherlands), Linnaeus (LNU, Sweden) and Cambridge (UCAM, UK), the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL, Belgium) and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH, Switzerland).

Further information


ISGlobal Ranking of Cities