News, opinion and expertise Urban and Rural Health Hard work and heatwaves Phew. It’s been a scorcher. And while the sun has been shining, our team has been making hay – metaphorically speaking. From onboarding our latest cohort of Work Well, Live Well businesses to assessing an excellent set of applications for PHA short term funding to polishing off the first draft of Derry City & Strabane’s application for Phase VII WHO Healthy City Designation it’s been a productive month. But don’t think for a second that we’re immune to the call of the outdoors when the sun shines. When the laptops get put away for the day we, like everyone else, have been enjoying the stunning parks and beaches that we’re so grateful to have here in Northern Ireland. One of the documents we’ve been reading in detail for the Healthy Cities application is Derry City & Strabane’s 2021 Natural Capital Account which identifies and articulates the benefits of green and blue spaces for health, the environment and the economy. The document makes quite the case. Did you know, for example, that every £1 spent on greenspace maintenance and investment generates £21 of benefits per year. But the comment that really caught our eye in the stifling heat was the note that greenery can help regulate temperatures in urban environments. On weeks like last week who would turn down the shade of a few more tree-lined avenues like Bonn’s beautiful Heerstraße (pictured), also known as Cherry Blossom Avenue. Especially when the necessities of work mean we must spend more time in towns and cities than on the beach!