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National grant for large-scale research project in Selwerd

07 February 2018
Manda Broekhuis
Manda Broekhuis

The UG has been awarded a € 324,820 grant for research on preventing and reducing socially and economically determined differences in health in Selwerd, a Groningen neighbourhood. The grant is awarded by ZonMw, a national organization promoting innovative health research.

The UG expertise centre Healthwise, at the Faculty of Economics and Business, submitted the application ‘Healthy Ageing and Improving Groningen City Neighbourhoods’ together with the Municipality of Groningen. This research project, which will be conducted by UG researchers involved with the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, focuses on reducing differences in health and life expectancy.

A liveable neighbourhood

Selwerd is one of four neighbourhoods where the municipality, housing associations and a large number of other parties are working towards a new kind of neighbourhood improvement. Major themes are health and wellbeing. Researchers from the University of Groningen and the UMCG will monitor the effects of this new approach for a period of four years, in terms of improvements in residents’ health and wellbeing. Examples of the new approach include the development of neighbourhood businesses for and by residents, where people can meet, and exchange work and ideas; making housing more sustainable; creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists; making traffic conditions safer; creating safer living conditions, more attractive green areas, and healthier nutrition. The aim is the development of vigorous, liveable neighbourhoods with healthy and resilient residents. The project will also investigate how care and services for residents who need them can be better adapted to their wishes.

The point is that it is the residents who should be put back in charge. The municipality of Groningen considers the active participation of people in the neighbourhoods essential to the success of the new neighbourhood project. This is why existing neighbourhood networks and organizations will be invited to become involved, as well as the Selwerd neighbourhood council.

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