EURO-URHIS Final Report

Arpana Verma, EURO-URHIS Project Management Group, Richard Heller (Editor)

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    Executive Summary1. GeneralThe General objectives of the project were to develop a comprehensive urban health information and knowledge system to:-Help to identify and prioritise urban health problems-Enable the monitoring of the effects of actions taken to address them-Ensure timely access to information-Contribute in building advocacy, communication and education strategies-Use standardized methodology for data collection, processing and dissemination, allowing transnational comparisons and time trend analysisThe study proceeded very well, met all its milestones and produced all its agreed deliverables although some partners were behind schedule in returning these (see below). The flow of the Work packages has worked as expected, with the initial literature reviews (WP 4 and 5) providing excellent information to inform the questionnaire development (WP 6 and 7), which was subsequently been sent to relevant individuals for completion. A key part of the work was to identify a method of defining an urban area, and the definition developed during WP5 was used to inform the questionnaire data collection. Questionnaires were retrieved from 60 European Urban Areas in 30 countries. A large majority of Urban Areas delivered questionnaires of near 100 pages filled with invaluable information about local health indicator availability, definitions and sources. The local respondents were painstaking, conscientious and hard-working. An amazing variety of comparable health indicators are available in the 30 countries. No clear patterns of indicator availability emerged – availability does not seem to depend on country size, location or EU status. The responses to the questionnaires were transferred to a database, forming the basis for the work of WPs 8 and 10. WP 10 prepared a detailed examination of each of the proposed indicators leading to the proposed final set of indicators to be used. This has produced a set of 39 Urban Health Indicators, together with their definitions, which can form the basis of an Urban Health Indicator system. In addition, a number of gaps were identified with the need for the development work required to produce further indicators of relevance to urban health. As part of WP10, a closer study of the process of urban health data collection was performed. This highlighted a number of issues involved with the identification of data sources, many of which were common across European countries and are therefore likely to relate to other research on comparable topics. However, despite the existence of these barriers, and some problems with the international comparability of questions to elicit information, data collection was completed for many of the indicators. Therefore the project has succeeded in identifying both the utility of using some Urban Health Indicators and the availability of data, and has gained an enhanced knowledge of how urban health data are used and routinely collected across Europe. In addition, through the work of WP9, we identified a number of ways in which health indicators may be presented to enhance their usefulness to health policymakers. A web site and three newsletters have been produced to assist in the dissemination of the results of the project (WP 2).The two conferences planned under Deliverables 9 and 10 were combined to one for budgetary reasons (as agreed with DG SANCO during the budget discussions prior to the study commencement). This resulted in a final conference for peer reviewers and policy makers, attended by more than 100 people (the implications arising from the conference are reported as part of the WP10 report). The conference identified ways in which the indicators might be incorporated into an EU wide system of urban health indicators. Feedback from the conference showed that all delegates felt the conference had increased awareness of urban health indicators, 89% felt the findings of the EURO-URHIS project would be helpful to policy makers and 86% felt that there was now enough evidence to support inclusion of urban health in all policies. The EURO-URHIS indicators were deemed by all delegates to be useful and not requiring revision despite the need for further development work on additional indicators and methods of implementation. Many different strategies for the implementation of UHIs were discussed through future projects including EURO-URHIS 2, continuing the EURO-URHIS network and formation of a sub-national working group.In conclusion, the work has demonstrated that urban health and its measurement is of major relevance and importance for Public Health across Europe. The current study has constructed an initial system of European Urban Health Indicators to meet the objectives of the project, but has also clearly demonstrated that further development work is required. The importance and value of examining urban health indicators has been confirmed, and the scene has been set for further studies on this topic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationManchester, UK
    PublisherNo publisher name
    Number of pages148
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


    • Urban Health, Urban Health Indicators, European, Health Policy, Monitoring, Methodology


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