City scale climate change policies: do they matter for wellbeing?

Rosemary Hiscock, Arja Asikainen, Jouni Tuomisto, Matti Jantunen, Erkki Pärjälä, Clive E. Sabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Climate change mitigation policies aim to reduce climate change through reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions whereas adaption policies seek to enable humans to live in a world with increasingly variable and more extreme climatic conditions. It is increasingly realised that enacting such policies will have unintended implications for public health, but there has been less focus on their implications for wellbeing. Wellbeing can be defined as a positive mental state which is influenced by living conditions. As part of URGENCHE, an EU funded project to identify health and wellbeing outcomes of city greenhouse gas emission reduction policies, a survey designed to measure these living conditions and levels of wellbeing in Kuopio, Finland was collected in December 2013. Kuopio was the northmost among seven cities in Europe and China studied. Generalised estimating equation modelling was used to determine which living conditions were associated with subjective wellbeing (measured through the WHO-5 Scale). Local greenspace and spending time in nature were associated with higher levels of wellbeing whereas cold housing and poor quality indoor air were associated with lower levels of wellbeing. Thus adaption policies to increase greenspace might, in addition to reducing heat island effects, have the co-benefit of increasing wellbeing and improving housing insulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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