Wednesday 28 June saw the first pilot meeting of the new Knowledge Table ‘Liveable and Promising’ in Onderdendam. The theme of the meeting was ‘Resilience and well being in the earthquake zone’. The Department of Research and Valorisation of the University of Groningen (UG) organized this pilot Knowledge Table together with the Hanze UAS Groningen, CMO STAMM and the Groningen local health authority, at the request of the National Coordinator Groningen (NCG).
The purpose of a Knowledge Table is for parties from academia and the field to share knowledge and exchange experiences for the benefit of residents of the region. The University of Groningen supplied expertise from the Knowledge Centre for Earthquakes and Sustainable Development (KADO).
The Knowledge Table resulted in a productive meeting of around 75 interested parties, including a lot of people and organizations from the region, such as municipalities, social, religious and aid organizations, and academic experts. They discussed two current cases: the reinforcement works in Appingedam and Ten Boer. They were presented by Alderman Usmany and Mayor Van de Nadort respectively. The key issue was the question of how to safeguard the health & resilience and liveability for those living in the earthquake zone, both now and in the future.
University of Groningen researcher Jochen Mierau from the Healthwise Expertise Centre explained the link between economics and health, and pinpointed opportunities for the years to come. He argued the case for a new perspective on Public Health, based on economic, epidemiological and psychiatric insights, which provide information on improving the health of a lot of people simultaneously. The first step is to establish the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health (AJSPH), an integrated platform that combines research on public health with education and outreach.
Detailed minutes of the Knowledge Table are being compiled. The questions raised will also be elaborated in more detail. The NCG hopes that this will lead to a more comprehensive approach. More information will follow in the autumn.
Annemieke Galema, Director of Research & Valorisation University of Groningen
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