Built Environment

Green and Blue Spaces and Behavioral Development in Barcelona Schoolchildren: The BREATHE Project

Amoly E, Dadvand P, Forns J, López-Vicente M, Basagaña X, Julvez J, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Sunyer J. Green and Blue Spaces and Behavioral Development in Barcelona Schoolchildren: The BREATHE Project. Environmental Health Perspectives [Internet]. 2014 ;122(12). Available from: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1408215
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Journal Article

Background: Green spaces have been associated with improved mental health in children; however, available epidemiological evidence on their impact on child behavioral development is scarce.

Objectives: We investigated the impact of contact with green spaces and blue spaces (beaches) on indicators of behavioral development and symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in schoolchildren.

Methods: This study was based on a sample of 2,111 schoolchildren (7–10 years of age) from 36 schools in Barcelona in 2012. We obtained data on time spent in green spaces and beaches and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) from parents, and ADHD/DSM-IV questionnaires from teachers. Surrounding greenness was abstracted as the average Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in buffers of 100 m, 250 m, and 500 m around each home address. Proximity to green spaces was defined as living within 300 m of a major green space (≥ 0.05 km2). We applied quasi-Poisson mixed-effects models (with school random effect) to separately estimate associations between indicators of contact with green spaces and SDQ and ADHD total and subscale scores.

Results: We generally estimated beneficial associations between behavioral indicators and longer time spent in green spaces and beaches, and with residential surrounding greenness. Specifically, we found statistically significant inverse associations between green space playing time and SDQ total difficulties, emotional symptoms, and peer relationship problems; between residential surrounding greenness and SDQ total difficulties and hyperactivity/inattention and ADHD/DSM-IV total and inattention scores; and between annual beach attendance and SDQ total difficulties, peer relationship problems, and prosocial behavior. For proximity to major green spaces, the results were not conclusive.

Conclusion: Our findings support beneficial impacts of contact with green and blue spaces on behavioral development in schoolchildren.

Sustainable development of coastal areas – Polish experience following accession to the European Union based on the example of Fisheries Local Action Groups during 2007-2013

Kurowska K, Kryszk H, Gwiazdzinska-Goraj M. Sustainable development of coastal areas – Polish experience following accession to the European Union based on the example of Fisheries Local Action Groups during 2007-2013. Acta Adriatica - International Journal of Marine Sciences [Internet]. 2014 ;55(2):163 - 178. Available from: http://jadran.izor.hr/acta/eng/v55_2.htm
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The objective of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Union is to assure sustainable exploitation of the live aquatic resources and aquaculture in the context of sustainable development considering in a balanced way the environmental, economic and social considerations. Poland as a Member State of the European Union has access to structural funds. Activities financed by the EU through the Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), i.e. entities associating representatives of widely understood fisheries sector, communes and other public and civic sector entities, that is voluntary associations operating in the areas dependent on fisheries have the largest opportunities for implementing the assumptions of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Fisheries Local Action Groups in Poland are the operators of the Operational Programme “Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Sector and Coastal Fishing Areas 2007-2013” [OP FISH 2007 – 2013] within the framework of priority axis 4 “Sustainable development of fisheries areas”. In the country 48 Fisheries Local Action Groups operate of which 9 are based on access to the Baltic Sea. The amount of over EUR 313 million has been allocated for implementation of priority axis 4 of the OP FISH 2007-2013. This represents ca. 32% of the funds allocated for financing of the entire Operational Programme “Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Sector and Coastal Fishing Areas 2007-2013”.

According to the assumptions, the activities of FLAGs are to contribute to stimulation of the communities in areas dependent on fisheries by including social and economic partners from the defined area in planning and implementation of local initiatives. The paper presents the outcomes and Polish experiences from operation of the FLAGs (FLAG operation principles, projects implemented, absorption of funds allocated to financing individual types of activities within the activities of sea coast FLAGs). An attempt will also be undertaken at evaluating the outcomes from implementation of individual actions and Union funds absorption in the maritime fisheries sector resulting from activities of the Fisheries Local Action Groups. The analysis covers the years of the current financial perspective 2007-2013.

The results of studies presented in the paper concerning the outcomes from implementation of the individual projects by the FLAGs will be based on the data obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development originating directly from selected Fisheries Local Action Groups and own field studies. Analysis covers the current financial perspective, i.e. the period of 2007-2013. Within the framework of the studies an attempt was also undertaken at determining whether a correlation exists between implementation of operations within the priority axis 4 of the OP FISH and the improvement of socioeconomic situation of the population covered by the Fisheries Local Action Groups. The Hellwig method (1968) was applied to determine the level of socioeconomic development. Indicators concerning the demographic-social, economic and related to technical and social infrastructure domains elaborated based on the data of the Central Statistical Office for the years 2004 and 2012 were applied.

The effect of sea-level rise in the 21st century on marine structures along the Mediterranean coast of Israel: An evaluation of physical damage and adaptation cost

Zviely D, Bitan M, DiSegni DM. The effect of sea-level rise in the 21st century on marine structures along the Mediterranean coast of Israel: An evaluation of physical damage and adaptation cost. Applied Geography [Internet]. 2015 ;57:154 - 162. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622814002914
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This study presents estimates of the impact adaptation costs due to damage to coastal and marine structures located along the Mediterranean coast of Israel caused by sea-level rise in the 21st century. The study examines the effects on various types of constructions, including seaports, power plants, marinas, desalination plants, sea walls, detached breakwaters, and bathing beach infrastructures for sea-level rises of 0.5 m and 1 m. To this end, we conduct an analysis of hydrodynamic forces on the structures and an uncertainty analysis of their occurrence. The study find that the impact of wave overtopping of breakwaters can lead to extensive damage to port infrastructure and to the vessels moored inside. Adaptation costs are computed as the corrective measures to be taken to maintain the functionality of the structures.

Rethinking marine infrastructure policy and practice: Insights from three large-scale marina developments in Seattle

A. Wilson MW, Mugerauer R, Klinger T. Rethinking marine infrastructure policy and practice: Insights from three large-scale marina developments in Seattle. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;53:67 - 82. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X14003212
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The global transformation of the marine nearshore is generating profound losses of ecological and geomorphological functions and ecosystem services, as natural environments are replaced with built. With conservation a diminishing option and restoration often unrealistic, there is a need to rethink development and the potential for marine infrastructure to contribute to net environmental gain. Through analysis of 150 years of change associated with the development of three large-scale marinas in the Seattle area, this research identifies the ways in which evolving policy frameworks and ecological understanding determine the nature, efficiency and environmental outcomes of coastal marine developments. Decisions on infrastructure design, mitigation strategies and policy interpretations directly determined the ecological fate of marine biota inhabiting these structures as well as surrounding ecosystems. In spite of increasing evidence of environmental legislation driving mitigation and innovative engineering, the net ecological trajectories remained negative. There were no tested demonstrations of marine mitigation to confirm which measures would succeed. Where scientific understanding existed, the uptake into planning and legislation was slow. More broadly, this research highlights a need and opportunity to consider marine infrastructure as living laboratories to inform a policy shift from a no-net-loss paradigm to net-environmental-gain. This evolution is timely, with sea level rise requiring new approaches to coastal defenses and with marine energy infrastructure increasingly being located offshore, where there is little knowledge of the ecological changes occurring in both time and space.

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