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Air pollution & distribution of related health impact and welfare in Nordic Countries


Air pollution has serious impacts on human health, wellbeing and welfare. The main challenge is to understand how to regulate air pollution in an optimal way both on global and local scales.

The aim of the project is to link detailed information of the spatio-temporal distribution of air pollution levels with register data for mortality and morbidity in the Nordic countries to gain new understanding of the various health impacts from different kinds of air pollution from different sources.

This will provide the basic understanding needed for policy making of strategies to optimally reduce the air pollution challenge and to assess the related impacts on the distribution of health impacts and related societal costs and welfare.

The results from the project will be used in both a Nordic as well as global perspective to improve the health and welfare by finding the optimal solutions to societal and public health challenges from air pollution through high-quality research. The study will provide a Nordic contribution to international research on the topics of environmental equality and justice within the area of air quality related risks, amenities and wellbeing.

The project was coordinated by Aarhus University in collaboration with 16 partners from other Nordic countries:


The research collaboration will run for five years and has 16 partners from the Nordic countries.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Jørgen Brandt and Senior Scientist Camilla Geels, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University.

All the partners:


Aarhus University, Department of Environmental Science (AU-ENVS) (all WPs)

Aarhus University, Department of Public Health (AU-DPH) (WP3)

Aarhus University, CIRRAU (AU-CIRRAU) (WP3)

Danish Cancer Society Research Center (DCRC) (WP3)


Finnish environment institute (SYKE) (WP1 & WP5)

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) (WP2)

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (WP3 & WP4)


Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) (WP1 & WP2)

Umeå University (UMU) (WP3)

Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd. (IVL) (WP4)


Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) (WP1)

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) (WP5)

Vista Analysis (Vista) (WP4)

Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) (WP3)


The National University Hospital/University of Iceland (Landspitali) (WP3)

University of Iceland (UI) (WP1 and WP2)

Nordic participatory, healthy and people-centred cities


NordicPATH’s overall objective is to establish a new model for citizens’ participation and collaborative planning in Nordic countries to create healthy and people-centred cities. The project is tackling complex environmental impacts such as air quality and climate change and is developing a method specifically targeted for the governance and the conditions of the Nordic countries with potential replicability and scalability to other countries.

NordicPATH aims at smart and sustainable solutions with a citizen-oriented approach. Technology will not be considered as a goal itself, but as a tool to increase accessibility to different societal groups, to stimulate the circular exchange of knowledge among citizens, public authorities, private sector and scientists and to foster system innovation towards sustainable development.

We will apply a co-monitoring system, combining environmental measurements from official monitoring stations and citizens’ own measuring devices. NordicPATH is also promoting more inclusive planning processes, involving citizens in the co-design of solutions to tackle environmental issues together with urban planners, authorities and scientists. We will combine the use of more traditional analogue participation tools as workshops and focus groups with the use of digital tools, in particular, PPGIS (public participation Geographical Information Systems), to ensure a broad range of public involvement.

NordicPATH will develop a participation method based on community activities and identity-establishing tools. This will allow for a new participative planning culture in the Nordic countries that will not just reflect the democracy that the Nordic countries represent in the world, but also the progress towards deliberative democracy, involving and shaping important local and global issues (such as air quality) together with citizens’ input on decisions. Participation in improving urban air quality is the NordicPATH strategy towards a liveable, resilient and smart urban environments.