Speaker: Dr Chris Skelly
Since 2007, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. Developed nations are the most urban while developing nations are the most rapidly urbanising. Humans are losing contact with biodiversity and the natural world. At the same time, immune-related health disorders such as allergies, auto-immune and chronic inflammatory diseases are multiplying. Medical researchers now believe these important trends are linked. Here in the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative, we seek to understand and recreate the immune-boosting power of high quality, biodiverse green spaces in our cities to maximise population health benefits, bring significant savings to health budgets, while delivering gains for biodiversity. Dr Chris Skelly is Head of Programmes, Research and Intelligence for Public Health Dorset.