WHO/Europe carries out a variety of activities to promote healthy indoor settings and built environments, such as stimulating the generation and dissemination of valuable knowledge, evaluating health risks from inadequate housing and urban conditions and providing advice on technical interventions and policy options. Major target groups are ministry officials and national and local policy-makers in the areas of housing, health, environment and social affairs as well as interested experts, housing practitioners and nongovernmental organizations.

Priority work addresses:

  • thermal comfort and energy issues;
  • health inequalities related to housing and urban conditions; and
  • the study of environmental risks from neighbourhood and urban environments (e.g. noise and air pollution, green spaces, transport and physical activity, public safety).

Further activities include a review of multiple exposures occurring indoors, such as in homes and institutionalized settings, and support to the WHO global project on the update of housing and health guidelines through technical contributions and as member of the project secretariat. WHO/Europe’s work on housing and urban environments also informs the Environmental Health Information System (ENHIS).