On the occasion of the COP26 World Climate Conference in Glasgow, the One Health Research Centre (OHRC), newly established at the University of Greifswald, has published a policy proposal entitled “From Building to Growing Cities: Turning the Building Code into a Catalyst for Ecosystem Restoration”, which calls for the permanent integration of environmentally protective measures into building law. The thesis paper was jointly developed by the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM), Prof. Michael Rodi (University of Greifswald) and OHRC partners Prof. Stefano Mancuso (University of Florence), Prof. Stefano Boeri (Polytechnic University of Milan) and Mikolaj Sekutowicz (Therme One Health).
The One Health Research Centre was founded by the University of Greifswald and the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM), in partnership with Therme Group’s new health and sustainability impact initiative Therme One Health, with the goal of making cross-sectoral, evidence-based contributions to the health and wellbeing of our society and planet. The centre is situated within the academic framework of the University of Greifswald, and the newly founded Helmholtz Institute for One Health, which mark Greifswald as a central hub for One Health research in Europe.
The One Health Research Centre benefits from the wide-ranging expertise of the University of Greifswald’s longstanding academic excellence, alongside IKEM’s sustainability and policy expertise, and Therme One Health’s innovative solution providers, as well as its extended network of academic institutions, NGOs, healthcare providers, urban developers, designers, and architects. This spirit of collaboration reflects the principles of the One Health approach’s transdisciplinary and collaborative nature.
Through the incorporation of the diverse resources of the partners, the One Health Research Centre will conduct research projects on the interactions and correlating elements in the health of humans, animals, and the environment (“One Health”). The aim of the One Health Research Centre is to implement its findings in the restoration and creation of health-promoting environments in cities worldwide, through Therme One Health’s infrastructure and urban development initiatives, as well as in Therme Group’s own thermal facilities.
For this purpose, novel approaches for the study of health, prevention and hygiene are being developed, as well as a new set of sustainability standards and evaluation tools. These tools will be used to examine and further improve the influence of Therme Group and Therme One Health’s projects on the environment and climate, as well as the quality of life and health of the population. The One Health Research Centre’s projects are being planned with a strong focus on the transferability of the research results, to ensure the production of effective input and materials for the advancement the health, technology, urban development, construction, and design industries. The One Health Research Centre is set to publish a broader transdisciplinary study in the subject matter in 2022 and will be seed financed by Therme Group.
Simon Schäfer-Stradowsky, Managing Director of the IKEM: “As an interdisciplinary research institute, we are convinced that climate protection must always be considered from a holistic perspective. That is why we are pleased to be able to contribute our expertise and experience to the One Health Research Centre and provide positive impetus for environmental and climate protection.”
Robert Hanea, Founder & CEO of Therme Group: “By establishing the One Health Research Centre, we are undertaking the necessary steps to substantiate our understanding of holistic wellbeing in an academic framework. By cooperating with scientific institutions, we can connect renowned experts and scientists working on One Health to a strongly solution-orientated approach and concrete city development projects.”
Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Co-Founder & CEO of Therme One Health: “Therme One Health was founded by Therme Group to address the critical reality that contemporary cities are hostile environments for our planet and our own bodies. Through the One Health approach we want to provide the insight and innovation to kickstart a paradigm change in the way we understand and design our relationship to the environment, in order to turn our cities into worldwide infrastructure of health and sustainability.”
Prof. Katharina Riedel, Rector of the University of Greifswald: “The University of Greifswald sees the One Health Research Centre as an opportunity to transfer the outstanding and socially highly relevant research on One Health in Greifswald into practice. With strong and sustainably thinking partners, we are thus making a contribution to a healthy society in a healthy environment.”