University of Bremen: Research cluster examines participation in neighbourhoods

Like many cities in which there are major differences in social living conditions, Bremen faces challenges in healthcare and health-promoting urban development.
Social inequalities mean that offers of prevention and health care can be perceived very differently by people. There are major differences when it comes to their living environments: for example, residential areas in which mostly cheap apartments are located are more affected by traffic noise. In crises like the current pandemic, they are also affected by higher infection rates than other residential areas.

Research cluster as part of the new integrated health campus in Bremen
Under the title “Healthy City of Bremen: Interprofessional, digital, sustainable”, the University of Bremen is now starting a research cluster together with the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and the APOLLON University of Applied Sciences for Health Management as part of the Integrated Health Campus Bremen. The integrated health campus Bremen was initiated and funded by the Senator for Science and Ports in cooperation with the Senator for Health, Women and Consumer Protection as part of the coalition agreement and the science plan and focuses on networking in the science and health sector.

The “Healthy City of Bremen” research cluster is also funded by the Senator for Science and Ports. Scientists from the University of Bremen from the scientific focus on health sciences, in particular from the Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research (IPP) and the Socium – Research Center for Inequality and Social Policy will be involved. Scientists from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Environment as well as the Institute for Energy and Circular Economy will be represented from the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and the APOLLON University of Applied Sciences will participate with two professors. The term of the research cluster is four years.

Studies explore opportunities for health equity
In projects that are closely linked in terms of content, interdisciplinary teams from the three participating universities are investigating how, for example, cooperation between different areas can be promoted at the administrative level through integrated small-scale monitoring or how digital technologies can support the participation and social integration of people in need of care on site. Further questions that will be examined: How can low-threshold access for the care of expectant mothers, the prevention of illnesses in older people and health promotion with young people be realized in neighborhoods? And how can Bremen’s healthcare system be made fit for future crises in the context of climate change and extreme events?

“We want to contribute to sustainable, climate-friendly and health-promoting urban development,” says Professor Gabriele Bolte from the Institute for Public Healthand Nursing Research at the University of Bremen. “It is therefore important to us that we gain our knowledge together with the administrations and stakeholders in the districts and make it available again,” adds Professor Matthias Zündel from the Bremen University of Applied Sciences. This is guaranteed by the close cooperation between the researchers and the local actors and by involving the people with whom and for the health promotion and health care in the districts. “We need this closer cooperation between social and health professionals on site, but also between the administrations in Bremen and Bremerhaven,” emphasizes Professor Johanne Pundt of the APOLLON University. In this research cluster, scientists from the three Bremen universities are networking for the first time

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