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3rd Webinar on COVID-19 | Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy

8 May 2020, 00:00

Covid-19, CoronaVirus, Cities, Carbon Neutral, Health
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Webinar Information

State-of-the-Art Webinars on COVID-19 Research

Webinar 3

Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy

It may be the time to turn a tragic emergency into a catalyst for change.

COVID-19 has hit the entire society hard. A collateral victim of the current pandemic may be all the actions addressed to manage the climate crisis. This is evidenced by, for example, COP26 postponement. Furthermore, the ambitious European green deal funding priorities may be overtaken by those for the COVID-19 pandemic. The short-term emergency threatening the necessary long-term requirements is nothing new but, does it need to be this way? Can’t we create a win-win scenario?

The COVID19 pandemic requires a large financial stimulus package which creates opportunities for change, and possibly for the better. We cannot simply continue the way we did, and therefore any stimulus packages should be holistic and not only include requirements and indicators for the economy, but also for equity, sustainability, liveability and health. The money can only be spent once, and we therefore might as well do it in the way that will save more lives in the long term, and create a more just, sustainable and liveable society.

According to data from the United Nations, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Suboptimal urban and transport planning in cities has led them to be hotspots of air pollution and noise, heat island effects and lack of green space. What are the effects of these conditions?

Outdoor air pollution alone kills 9 million people a year- a number that could be significantly reduced as the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown. A recent health impact assessment study in Barcelona found that around 20% of premature mortality was due to factors related to suboptimal urban and transport planning. Cities are also large emitters of CO2, one of the main factors behind the climate crisis.

Cities might be the problem, but also the solution as they are centres of innovation and wealth creation and tend to be more responsive and agile in their governance. As part of any stimulus package, cities could and should take measures to become carbon neutral, more liveable and healthier by changing their current urban and transport planning practices. In this webinar we will discuss some measures.

Date & Time: 8 May 2020 11:00am (CEST) | 5:00am (EDT) | 5:00pm (CST)

Webinar ID: 874-6505-4140

Webinar Secretariat:

The following expert researcher will present and speak:

Prof. Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen PhD is a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living. He has edited 3 books on Exposure Assessment and on Environmental Epidemiology, and 1 on Integrating human health into Urban and Transport planning, 1 on Transportation and Health and has co-authored more than 450 papers published in peer reviewed journals and 35 book chapters. In 2018, he was awarded the ISEE John Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Epidemiology. In both 2018 and 2019 he was among the 1% most cited scientists in the world.


The webinar will start at 11:00 am (CEST) and last maximum 1 ½ hours.



Welcome & Introduction

11:00am (CEST)

Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy

11:05am (CEST)


11:45pm (CEST)

Webinar Content

On Friday 8 May 2020, the third webinar in the COVID-19 series was organised. The State-of-the-Art Webinars on COVID-19 is a series of webinars presenting different talks on this specific coronavirus.

This third online seminar was given by Prof. Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Research Professor in Environmental Epidemiology at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. He talked about the opportunity, created by the COVID-19 crisis, to make cities carbon neutral, livable and healthy.

The webinar was offered via Zoom and required registration in order to attend, however, the full recording can be found below.

The next edition of the State-of-the-Art Webinars on COVID-19 will be held on Tuesday 12 May 2020 at 4:00pm (CEST). The guest speakers will be Prof. Dr. Max Bergman, Dr. Dorothea Schostok and Prof. Dr. Patrick Paul Walsh. They will be discussing the Global Supply Chains and the SDGs in relation to COVID-19. You can register here.

COVID-19 Academic Resources Center

To support health researchers and professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, MDPI has established the COVID-19 Academic Resources Center. It contains a variety of information related to COVID-19 available from MDPI, including journal articles, special issues, and Preprints, among others.

Relevant Special Issues in MDPI Journals

Special Issues in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Risk Management of COVID-19 and Public Health: Medical, Economic, Finance, Business, Political and Educational Implications
Editors: Michael McAleer, Chia-Lin Chang, Daniel J. Slottje, Teodosio Pérez Amaral
Accepting submissions until 30 April 2021

Old and New Epidemiological Alerts: Prevention and Control of COVID-19, Candida auris, Measels, MDR and Other Infectious Diseases
Editors: Jadwiga Wojkowska-Mach, Maria Luisa Moro, Monika Chlebowicz, Anna Różańska
Accepting submissions until 28 February 2021

COVID-19 Global threat: Information or Panic
Editors: Carlos de las Heras-Pedrosa, Carmen Jambrino-Maldonado, Patricia P. Iglesias-Sánchez, Jose Ignacio Peláez-Sánchez
Accepting submissions until 20 December 2020

SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19 Outbreak: Lessons, Burning Points and Perspectives
Editor: Evelyne Bischof
Accepting submissions until 31 October 2020

Special Issues in Pharmaceuticals

COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals
Editors: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde, Annie Mayence
Accepting submissions until 15 November 2020

Articles in COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals

COVID-19: An update about the Discovery Clinical Trial
Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde
Submission closed.

COVID-19: A Brief Overview of the Discovery Clinical Trial
Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde
Submission closed.

Special Issues in Sustainability

COVID-19: Defense Strategies and Technologies
Editor: Silvano Vergura
Accepting submissions until 31 August 2021

Circular Economy in the COVID-19 Era
Editors: Jouni Korhonen and Juha-Pekka Snäkin
Accepting submissions until 15 December 2020

ICMTs for Sustainability in the Post COVID-19 Era: Revisiting Conceptual and Policy Narratives
Editors: Ravi S. Sharma, Stephen Bekoe and Aijaz A. Shaikh
Accepting submissions until 31 October 2020

Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
Editors: Emanuele Cannizzaro, Ramaci Tiziana, Massimiliano Barattucci and Fulvio Plescia
Accepting submissions until 15 April 2021

Sustainability vs Uncontrollability: COVID-19 and Crisis Impact on the Hospitality and Tourism Community
Editors: Myong Jae Lee and Saehya Ann
Accepting submissions until 31 January 2021

Pilgrimage and Sustainability in the Post COVID 19 Era
Editor: Noga Collins-Kreiner
Accepting submissions until 10 June 2021

Special Issue in Viruses

Pathogenesis of Human and Animal Coronaviruses
Editor: Andrew Davidson
Accepting submissions until 15 September 2020

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