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Advancing urban health and resilience to climate change through nature-based solutions

Time Friday 2 June, 2023 at 08:30 - 10:00
Place Triple Helix, University Management Building & Zoom

Welcome to this breakfast seminar with Jan C. Semenza who is an environmental epidemiologist with research interests in climate change and public health.

The unpredictable nature of climate change poses considerable challenges to public health because it acts as a multiplier on existing exposure pathways and thus exacerbates existing vulnerabilities. Urban settings are particularly susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather events due to high population densities with shared exposure pathways. For example, extreme precipitation can result in flooding and combined sewer overflow associated with infectious disease risks. Moreover, metropolitan areas tend to be at increased risk from heat waves because urban climates are often warmer than un-built surroundings. 

This UTRI seminar will address these challenges and describe urban adaptation to climate change in urban settings. These interventions aspire to attenuate the negative consequences of climatic events by physically improving the built environment. At the same time these interventions are designed to advance social capital in order to enhance community capacity, resilience, and mental health. These adaptation strategies in urban environments illustrate the concept of lateral public health based on transdisciplinary cooperation and community-based participation. In order to mount an effective response, public health practitioners need to transcend the traditional disciplinary boundaries and embrace lateral public health. This framework farms out public health action to other sectors of society, as well as community members of at-risk populations, in order to promote sustainable adaptation to climate change.


Breakfast is served from 08:15 and the seminar starts at 08:30. The lecture lasts about 60 minutes and then there is time for questions and dialog.


The registration is now cloesd.

The seminar is a co-operation between the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and UTRI, Umeå Transformation Research Initiative and part of UTRITransformationTALKS.

The seminar will be held in English.

Jan C. Semenza

Jan C. Semenza is an environmental epidemiologist with research interests in climate change and public health. He led the US CDC response to the 1995 heat wave in Chicago that claimed the lives of more than 700 individuals and elucidated the underlying environmental, societal, and behavioural risk factors for heat-related mortality. He also worked internationally in Uzbekistan, Sudan, Egypt, Denmark, Brazil, and Haiti. He was a faculty member at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Oregon Health and Science University, and at Portland State University where he taught in the Oregon Master Program of Public Health. Most recently he was the head of the Health Determinants Section at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), where he analysed and monitored determinants of infectious diseases, such as climate change. He was a lead author of the IPCC AR6 report and the co-lead of WG1 and WG2 of the Lancet Countdown in Europe. 

Currently, he is associated with the Section of Sustainable Health at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University in Sweden and Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. 

Event type: Seminar
Staff photo Jan Carlo Semenza
Jan Carlo Semenza
Research fellow
Read about Jan Carlo Semenza
Kristina Lindblom
Read about Kristina Lindblom