Selecting Indicators to Monitor and Assess Environmental Health in a Portuguese Urban Setting: A Participatory Approach
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Environmental health (EH) is influenced by complex interactions between health and the built and natural environments, there being little research on its specificities in urban settings. The use of suitable indicators to monitor and assess EH is fundamental in informing evidence-based interventions at the local level. A participatory approach to selecting indicators to inform the monitoring and assessment of EH in Lisbon is herein considered. Evidence derived from a systematic review of
... re and data from Lisbon and Portuguese databases were analyzed by 12 Portuguese experts in individual semi-structured interviews. The interviews aimed at identifying relevant indicators and important emerging issues in the Lisbon urban setting. The outputs from the interviews were validated by a two-round Web-Delphi process in which panelists (22 experts) from different areas of expertise expressed their views regarding the relevance of the indicators for the analysis of EH in urban settings. Seventeen indicators were validated in the Web-Delphi process. High participation achieved along this process supports the view that this participatory approach was useful for validation. Results from the adopted participatory approach point out gaps in the collection of noise and mobility indicators data and raise emerging issues on housing indicators that require further research. The results also suggest the need for local action to improve indicators and tools in order to help the monitorization of EH in urban contexts. The adopted participatory approach can be replicated for other Portuguese and European urban settings.