Healthy Living in Utrecht

challenge

It's clear that a healthy living environment positively effects the quality of people's life. The municipality of Utrecht aims to create such a 'healthy urban living' for its inhabitants. It does so by collaborating with different stakeholders and focussing on area's like innovation, health economy and infrastructure.

Quality of Life
Utrecht is as old as its Roman foundations, while its population is the youngest of any city in the Netherlands. As in historic times Utrecht provides a vibrant, creative,  and inspirational environment for leading innovations. Utrecht  is not only the fastest growing city, but also the healthiest city of the Netherlands. Indeed, a global comparison by the United Nations shows that we are one of the happiest cities of the world. Together with Amsterdam, Utrecht forms the economic axis of the Netherlands, with four million inhabitants. As much as 60% of the Utrecht population is highly educated, and the region accommodates 25% of the jobs in the national care sector. With 72% of the European population living in urban areas, cities are at the heart of today’s environmental challenges and solutions.

The challenge
The pressing question then evidently becomes how to realise such a healthy urban environment. The municipality of Utrecht believes healthy urban living makes people happier and thus increases the quality of life. Utrecht is at the crossroads of water, rail and road infrastructure. Every day, 285,000 travellers pass through Utrecht Central Station. Maintaining good access, while improving air quality and reducing noise pollution, is an ongoing challenge. This focus has made Utrecht a leader in innovative connectivity management.

Keep innovating
The municipality of Utrecht greatly values cooperation between city authorities, citizens, businesses and institutions and assumes this is crucial for sustainable growth and competitiveness. Utrecht is one of the Netherlands’ most interactive municipalities. The city is developing new forms of knowledge sharing, collaborative policy development and co-creation. In the regional Economic Board Utrecht, citizens, companies, knowledge institutes and the city government combine their strengths in creative entrepreneurship, life sciences and game-based solutions to foster a healthy, inclusive society. Utrecht, together with the other big Dutch cities, is part of the most connected region of the world. We transform societal challenges into economic growth by using innovation to seek new forms of employment, also for people who are far removed from the labour market. The result is a more balanced and healthier city.

This figure shows Utrecht's focus points within the Healthy Urban Living program

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Written by Saro Campisano on 07-07-16

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