Event Highlights

Leopoldina Event: How Do We Want to Live  Tomorrow? Perspectives on Water Management  in Urban Regions – Workshop and Science  Policy Report, November 2016 in Essen 

More than half of the world’s population now  lives in urban regions, and according to estimates  by the United Nations, that number will grow by  a further 2.5 billion by the year 2050, which will  put massive pressure on local water resources.  This scenario was the subject of the German-  Brazilian workshop organised by Leopoldina, the  Academia Brasileira de Ciências and the ZWU  in November 2016. Young German and Brazilian  scientists identified and discussed future  research topics and questions relevant to urban  water management. The findings were published  in a science policy report that presents options  for responsible management of waste water,  rainwater and pollution. For these challenges the  scientists formulated concrete research questions,  the answers to which they believe will contribute  to sustainable integrated management of water  catchment areas in urban spaces and thereby create  the basis for better quality of life and health in  cities and safeguard the environment. To do this  will require above all an improvement in the flow  of information between the relevant actors, greater  involvement of the public in decision-making  processes, and close links with city planning.

“Metropolis – Gesundheit anders denken” (A  different way of thinking about health), Annual  Conference of the German Society for Social  Medicine and Prevention (DGSMP), 2016 in Essen

The 52nd Annual Conference of the DGSMP  “Metropolis – Gesundheit anders denken” took  place in Essen from 14 to 16 September 2016, organised  by the conference president Prof. Susanne  Moebus, Centre for Urban Epidemiology. Some  450 speakers and guests from science, teaching and  practice presented current research findings from  different perspectives. Discussion of the relationship  between health and urban space in terms of  health-promoting living environments, health care  and social justice was one of the central themes of  the conference.

The scientific agenda included contributions  from health promotion and prevention in local  communities, asylum, migration, and child and  adolescent health. Big data, digital networking and  the smart city were another cluster of themes during  the conference.

Events were held in different formats at attractive  venues in the Ruhr region and looked  at “The smart city – does the smart city concept  help health-promoting urban development?”;  discussions considered whether the smart city can  solve existing urban health problems or whether  technological development happens separately and  creates new problems or exacerbates old ones. In  “Art meets Science”, a discussion session held in  Café Central at the Grillo Theater in Essen, video  extracts with scenes from the play “Big Data” were  shown and discussed from different perspectives  with the director and scientists from informatics,  neurology and medical sociology. These alternative  event formats gave attendees an interdisciplinary  impression of current developments, such  as digital technology and its effects on health; at  the same time, and in line with the conference  theme of thinking about health in different ways,  they also gave representatives from public health,  urban planning and medical sociology a chance to  discuss how a city should be planned and (re)built  so that it offers residents the best possible opportunities  for their health.