Climate Change and Health

Hello to everybody!

In this week we have met Dra. Cristina Linares, from Instituto de Salud Carlos III, who has explained us the consequences of climate change on health. After a general overview about the principal effects associated with climate change, we could understood why it is a greater challenge in urban context. Pollution and Heat Island Effect aggravate this problem.

Dra. Cristina Linares explaining the consequences of climate change and its effects on health.

We can also find higher risk and mortality rates amongst the most vulnerable groups of the population: elderly, women, children, people with some level of dependency, pregnant women.

It has been a very interesting session to understand how climate change have deeper consequences in our lives and, moreover, our health.

How can we design urban spaces to make them adaptative and resilient to this future situation?

Next session was presented by Raquel Díez Abarca, from Green Building Council Spain (GBCe). She showed us an interesting methodology and tool to implement bioclimatic evaluation and assess for bioclimatic design through HADES tool. Based on the Spanish Technical Building Code (CTE) HADES evaluates the project requirements according to the local weather characteristics in order to adapt its design with sustainable criteria. The GBCe tools are free and suppose a very interesting start point to design building taking into in consideration sustainable factors in the management of the building as a whole. 

For the elderly, bioclimatic design in the spaces they use is a key factor to guarantee their health, their comfort and also to save energy, as their situation is usually more vulnerable than other sectors.

Raquel Díez explaining the different methodologies and projects they develop in Green Building Council Spain.

Finally, in the afternoon we were introduced to the local context of the elderly in Usera District, by the hand of Carmen Herrera, Leader of the Department of Social Services in Usera.

Carmen Herrera introducing the statistics of Madrid, the Madrid Age-Friendly Plan and the activities they coordinate in the Social Services in Usera.

We completed many of our documents with additional information about demographic and health analysis that have been recently developed in the district. We were also explained the different social services that citizens can ask for in the Social Services Centers. There are many facilities, services and activities offer, both public and at home, in order to promote autonomy for the elderly as long as possible.

There are seven Elderly Daycare Centers in Usera that satisfy the necessities of the neighborhood. However, many of them do not count with the accessibility requirements for the neighbors that currently use them. One of the main issues is accessibility. These public buildings and the pathway to get there are not always adapted to the requirements of accesibility, anti-slippery conditions, slopes and inclinations…

Other relevant aspect is that the district is characterized by a high level of engagement and participation and every Friday there are open-air active sessions. However, the lack of public toilets makes exercising outdoors a real challenge for the elderly and so, many of them do not feel comfortable to join the activities.

Our first visit to the neighborhood is about to happen! We will have first approach to this neighborhood and visit an Elderly Day Care Center to see the facilities and services they offer as well as the design problems that users face!

Next Monday 10 am in Usera station!

Meet you there!

 

UNI-Health Team

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