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Dynamic Urban Environmental Exposures on Depression and Suicide

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "NEEDS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙499˙902 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙902 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙499˙902.00


 Project objective

19% of the Dutch population suffer from depression and people affected by depression have a significantly higher suicide risk. Although the World Health Organization attributes modifiable environmental factors including urban environments (i.e. the built, natural and social environments) to health outcomes, they are largely disregarded as either stressors or buffers in scientific debates on depression and suicide. A limitation of current studies is that urban environmental features are often restricted to the neighbourhoods within which people live. This may result in incorrect conclusions about health-influencing factors and inappropriate policies. Human life ultimately unfolds over space-time; people are exposed to multiple urban environments not only during daily life but also over the course of their lives. It is this, not yet assessed spatiotemporal interplay of urban exposures that might revolutionize health assessments. This research aims to understand the interactions between urban environments, depression and suicide in the Netherlands. The scientific breakthrough will be dynamic health geographies embedded in space-time by two innovative case studies. We will investigate the following research questions: What are the associations between depression and the built, natural and social urban environments along people’s daily space-time paths? And what are the associations between suicide and the built, natural and social urban environments of previous residential locations? A multidisciplinary approach combining health, geographic information science and urban geography will lead to this breakthrough. It will be grounded on cutting-edge smartphone-based human tracking, health register data and spatiotemporal modelling. Knowledge about dynamic urban exposures is key to revealing disease aetiologies, advancing health preventions and formulating policies supporting a healthier urban living.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Paulien Hagedoorn
Do spatiotemporal social fragmentation and depri-vation affect suicide risk? A Dutch register-basedcase-control study
published pages: 34-35, ISSN: , DOI:
GEOMED 2019 Book of Abstracts 2020-01-16
2019 Amit Birenboim, Martin Dijst, Floortje E. Scheepers, Maartje P. Poelman, Marco Helbich
Wearables and Location Tracking Technologies for Mental-State Sensing in Outdoor Environments
published pages: 449-461, ISSN: 0033-0124, DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2018.1547978
The Professional Geographer 71/3 2020-01-16
2019 Marco Helbich
Dy n amic Urban E nvironmental E xposures on D epression and S uicide (NEEDS) in the Netherlands: a protocol for a cross-sectional smartphone tracking study and a longitudinal population register study
published pages: e030075, ISSN: 2044-6055, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030075
BMJ Open 9/8 2020-01-16
2019 Ruoyu Wang, Marco Helbich, Yao Yao, Jinbao Zhang, Penghua Liu, Yuan Yuan, Ye Liu
Urban greenery and mental wellbeing in adults: Cross-sectional mediation analyses on multiple pathways across different greenery measures
published pages: 108535, ISSN: 0013-9351, DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108535
Environmental Research 176 2020-01-16
2019 Hannah Roberts, Caspar van Lissa, Paulien Hagedoorn, Ian Kellar, Marco Helbich
The effect of short-term exposure to the natural environment on depressive mood: A systematic review and meta-analysis
published pages: 108606, ISSN: 0013-9351, DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108606
Environmental Research 177 2020-01-16
2019 Wang Ruoyu, Liu Ye, Xue Desheng, Yao Yao, Liu Peng, Marco Helbich
Cross-sectional associations between long-term exposure to particulate matter and depression in China: The mediating effects of sunlight, physical activity, and neighborly reciprocity
published pages: , ISSN: 0165-0327, DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.02.007
Journal of Affective Disorders 2020-01-16
2019 Hannah Roberts
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
World Conference on Forests for Public Health 2020-01-16
2018 Marco Helbich, Nadja Klein, Hannah Roberts, Paulien Hagedoorn, Peter P. Groenewegen
More green space is related to less antidepressant prescription rates in the Netherlands: A Bayesian geoadditive quantile regression approach
published pages: 290-297, ISSN: 0013-9351, DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.010
Environmental Research 166 2020-01-16
2018 Marco Helbich, Derek de Beurs, Mei-Po Kwan, Rory C O\'Connor, Peter P Groenewegen
Natural environments and suicide mortality in the Netherlands: a cross-sectional, ecological study
published pages: e134-e139, ISSN: 2542-5196, DOI: 10.1016/s2542-5196(18)30033-0
The Lancet Planetary Health 2/3 2020-01-16
2019 Marco Helbich, Yao Yao, Ye Liu, Jinbao Zhang, Penghua Liu, Ruoyu Wang
Using deep learning to examine street view green and blue spaces and their associations with geriatric depression in Beijing, China
published pages: 107-117, ISSN: 0160-4120, DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.02.013
Environment International 126 2020-01-16
2019 Marco Helbich
Spatiotemporal Contextual Uncertainties in Green Space Exposure Measures: Exploring a Time Series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices
published pages: 852, ISSN: 1660-4601, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16050852
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16/5 2020-01-16
2018 Susanne Boers, Karin Hagoort, Floortje Scheepers, Marco Helbich
Does Residential Green and Blue Space Promote Recovery in Psychotic Disorders? A Cross-Sectional Study in the Province of Utrecht, The Netherlands
published pages: 2195, ISSN: 1660-4601, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15102195
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15/10 2020-01-16
2018 Peter P. Groenewegen, Jan-Paul Zock, Peter Spreeuwenberg, Marco Helbich, Gerard Hoek, Annemarie Ruijsbroek, Maciej Strak, Robert Verheij, Beate Volker, Geeke Waverijn, Martin Dijst
Neighbourhood social and physical environment and general practitioner assessed morbidity
published pages: 68-84, ISSN: 1353-8292, DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.11.006
Health & Place 49 2020-01-16
2018 Jan-Paul Zock, Robert Verheij, Marco Helbich, Beate Volker, Peter Spreeuwenberg, Maciek Strak, Nicole A.H. Janssen, Martin Dijst, Peter Groenewegen
The impact of social capital, land use, air pollution and noise on individual morbidity in Dutch neighbourhoods
published pages: 453-460, ISSN: 0160-4120, DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.09.008
Environment International 121 2020-01-16
2018 Marco Helbich
Mental Health and Environmental Exposures: An Editorial
published pages: 2207, ISSN: 1660-4601, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15102207
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15/10 2020-01-16
2017 Marco Helbich
En route urban form exposures and children\'s school commuting (keynote)
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
International Land Use Symposium 2020-01-16
2017 Marco Helbich, Paul L. Plener, Sebastian Hartung, Victor Blüml
Spatiotemporal Suicide Risk in Germany: A Longitudinal Study 2007–11
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08117-4
Scientific Reports 7/1 2020-01-16
2017 M. Helbich, V. Blüml, T. de Jong, P. L. Plener, M.-P. Kwan, N. D. Kapusta
Urban–rural inequalities in suicide mortality: a comparison of urbanicity indicators
published pages: , ISSN: 1476-072X, DOI: 10.1186/s12942-017-0112-x
International Journal of Health Geographics 16/1 2020-01-16
2017 Marco Helbich, Paul Plener, Sebastian Hartung, Victor Blüml
Spatiotemporal Regressions to Explore Suicide Mortality in Germany
published pages: 271-272, ISSN: , DOI:
GEOMED 2017. International, interdisciplinary conference on spatial statistics, geographical epidemiology and geographical aspects of public health 2020-01-16
2018 Marco Helbich
Toward dynamic urban environmental exposure assessments in mental health research
published pages: 129-135, ISSN: 0013-9351, DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.11.006
Environmental Research 161 2020-01-16

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