first_imgNewsEducationHealthUniversity of Limerick leads €10.5 million EU ‘Go Green Routes’ projectBy Cian Reinhardt – July 20, 2020 500 Print Facebook Email Advertisement University you Limerick campus aerialsPhoto: True MediaUNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) is to lead a €10.5 million ‘Go Green Routes’ project that aims to transform both environmental and human health by positioning European cities as world ambassadors of urban sustainability.Details of the project, which has almost 40 different stakeholders, were announced at a virtual launch hosted by UL today, Monday, July 20.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The four-year project, which applies visionary and integrated solutions to improve health in cities, will commence in September, coordinated by the Health Research Institute at UL.The project, which is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework programme, will take COVID-19 into consideration, evaluating the impact of reduced air pollution during and after lockdown, as well as the impact on mental health of urban citizens and their views on re-greening their cities.Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, a lecturer in psychology at UL and coordinator of the Go Green Routes project said emerging evidence shows people “flocked to green spaces during lockdown for mental health, physical activity and connectivity with their communities”.He said, “The impact on social cohesion, connection to nature and their perceptions of their cities may be long-lasting. One solution to reduced transmission of the disease and the negative psychological consequences of confinement is spending more time outdoors in greenspace, which will be addressed by the project.”Dr McIntyre said there how nature is integrated into urban spaces and used needs to optimised, he said there is a need to “create a rapid means of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer to enable upscaling and future proliferation of nature-based interventions”.“We aim to create a unique knowledge ecosystem to transform citizens, planners, researchers and entrepreneurs into innovators, leaders and visionaries in nature-based solutions. Nature is our future,” Dr MacIntyre added.UL will receive €1.6m to fund a team of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and a project manager. Other Irish partners will benefit to the tune of €3.68m across SMEs – Nutritics, ICEP, Connect the Dots, and Horizon Nua – and Irish universities TCD and TU Dublin, while Limerick City and County Council is to receive €530,000.The consortium will cultivate technological and nature-based solutions for health across six cities – Burgas, Bulgaria; Lahti, Finland; Umea, Sweden; Versailles, France and Limerick – and lay a foundation for future implementation in Munich, Germany, the Murcia region of Spain and in the Gzira municipality of Malta.The project also has partners in China, Mexico and Georgia, enabling a global knowledge exchange and a focus on mental health and well-being.Speaking at the launch of the project this Monday, UL Chancellor Mary Harney, said, “As a former Minister for Health, I am acutely aware of the links between human and environmental health. Indeed, I know first-hand that the banning of smoky coal in Dublin in 1990 had a huge impact on air pollution and a positive impact on health.”The UL Chancellor said now there is a need to be “ambitious” in how health is promoted in cities, “through active travel, renaturing streets and ensuring nature and people are at the nexus of urban life”.She said, “Limerick City, I am glad to say, has been advancing its capacities through research and innovation. Recently, it was awarded the European Green Leaf Award for innovation in greenspace. The collaboration with UL has led to the +CityxChange, which is a smart city project paying dividends in sustainability.“The University has firm plans to increase its footprint in the city. The future of our institution and the city are very much linked. We are both future focused and have ambitious growth targets and together we will ensure the city and the region become of strategic importance in research, learning and innovation. Limerick 2030, our own strategic plan and research like the Go Green Routes project will help to ensure that this vision becomes a reality.”The project has three themes – Building Back Better; Re-naturing Cities for Health; and Future-proofing for Digital Natives. An interdisciplinary team at UL is involved including Dr Stephen Kinsella, economics; Dr Norma Bargary, statistical modelling; Professor Alan Donnelly, physical activity; Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, mental health; Dr Giles Warrington, sport and exercise; Dr Conor Little, governance; Dr Elaine Gallagher, citizen science and Dr Eibhlís O’Connor, nutrition and sustainability.Dr Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics at Sport Ireland, said, “We have learnt from the Covid-19 lockdown how much people cherish their connection to nature and the role of active recreation in greenspace has never been so apparent. Limerick City, with the support of our planned supports including the Active Cities programme and the Go Green Routes innovations, will be able to clearly demonstrate how urban nature can promote healthy lives and act as a flagship for other cities to follow.”Martin Rogan, CEO Mental Health Ireland, said, “We are well aware of the benefits of nature for mental health but the challenge has been how to best translate knowledge into impact. Uniquely, Go Green Routes will co-create a mental health scorecard for cities which will highlight their contribution to prevention, commitment to rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities and empowerment of users of services-this combination of organic and structured supports will make a long-lasting contribution to the well-being of Irish citizens.”center_img Linkedin WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleShannon airport immigration centreNext articleGardaí order Limerick publican to cease trading under Health Act after wet-house opens up despite COVID rules Cian Reinhardthttp://www.limerickpost.ieJournalist & Digital Media Coordinator. Covering human interest and social issues as well as creating digital content to accompany news stories. [email protected]last_img read more


first_img Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Previous articleLobo athletes listed to ASC All-Conference TeamNext articleDAILY OIL PRICE: May 12, 2021 Ruth Campbell WhatsApp By Ruth Campbell – May 12, 2021 EducationECISD Bueno named to new leadership role Facebook Pinterest San Jacinto Elementary School Principal Erin Bueno was named an executive director of leadership for Ector County ISD at a recent board workshop.Bueno will start July 1 and replace Andrea Martin who is retiring. After an executive session, the board voted for the appointment unanimously with Board Secretary Steve Brown and Vice President Tammy Hawkins making the motion and seconding it, respectively, at Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s an honor to be given this opportunity to serve the staff and students in ECISD,” Bueno said after the meeting.The board recap said Bueno spent the past three years as the principal of San Jacinto Elementary School, and before that she was the assistant principal there for four years. She helped lead San Jacinto from an Improvement Required campus that was reconstituted to a grade of “B” from the Texas Education Agency. She also served five years in instructional coaching.  Superintendent Scott Muri announced that the district would be nominating the board for the Texas School Board of the Year award.“Even if we don’t win, it’s an honor,” President Delma Abalos said.ECISD Board President Delma Abalos is sworn in by District Judge James Rush before the start of the board of trustees meeting Tuesday evening. (Courtesy Photo)Over the next several weeks, Muri said, they will be gathering information from board members.“You deserve it,” Muri said. “You don’t often have boards that are this collaborative that allow us to do good work.”On standard attire for Burnet Elementary School, the board had questions about the process, so Muri said the item will be brought back for the regular board meeting next Tuesday.Board members who were up for election May 1 were sworn in Tuesday.Running unopposed were Brown, Abalos and Nelson Minyard. Chris Stanley won out over challenger Jesse Christesson.In the public comment part of the meeting, Javier Ruiz, president of Ector County Texas State Teachers Association, congratulated Stanley on his re-election to the school board. He also talked about the proposed raises for employees, federal stimulus money for public school districts and plans to use those federal dollars to improve student achievement.  Ruiz said he wanted his organization to have a voice in that planning. In his opening remarks, Muri gave trustees a brief update on some of the academic progress made this year. Looking at MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessments from the spring semester, district-wide scores show the median growth percentile to be a 52 overall; a 57 in math; and a 47 in reading, the board recap said.He explained that the 50th percentile represents average growth during an average school experience. Approaching 60 is remarkable. Of course, he added, this was not an average year. Broken down in more detail, the recap said data shows many ECISD students grew more in the second semester than they did in the first semester, which is the opposite of typical trends. He said there is much cause for celebration, yet, still a lot of work to do to ensure students have an excellence educational experience every day.>> Trustees received a report from the Transportation Department. A staff of more than 150 operates and maintains a fleet of 185 buses and 10 SUVs used for student and staff travel. Using money approved by voters in the 2018 Tax Ratification Election, the department has purchased 29 new buses and has leased-to-own another 30, putting 59 new buses in rotation since the TRE, the recap said. ECISD buses travel more than 1.5 million miles each year just running routes to and from school (6,200 students); another 300,000 are covered for extra-curricular activities; and the District spends about $670,000 for fuel each year. This year, due to COVID, the number of passengers on buses has been limited, and the District increased bus sanitizing and hand sanitizing for all riders.The department is recommending the addition of Live GPS on buses to help with routing and with safety. If adopted, the GPS app would allow parents to confirm their child is on the bus, and to be able to track the bus as it moves through town. Adding WiFi to trip buses is another project the department would like to pursue in the future, the recap said.>> The board also heard a report on the improvement plans for Nimitz Middle School. Nimitz was rated “Met Standard” by the state until receiving a “D” rating in 2018-19. Because of the pandemic, accountability ratings have been suspended since then. Showing end-of-year MAP data (student benchmark tests given three times per year), Nimitz students showed growth beyond expectations in both math and English Language Arts in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. The use of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), professional development for school leaders, and the use of the Opportunity Culture model are ways Nimitz is growing professionally and improving its work for students, the recap said.>> In his legislative update, Muri told trustees there is a process involved in applying for ESSER 3 funds ($55.9 million for ECISD) and ECISD has started it. He added there is still no word on ESSER 2 money, though it is evident that some of the money is being built into proposed bills. Muri said he would not be surprised if a final decision is not made during this legislative session. He added, HB 4545 was voted down, and he felt that was good because it contained a lot of restrictions on local decision-making, and new accountability discussions could mean “look back” consequences for schools who were rated a D or F as far back as 2015, the recap said.    Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more