The impact of the Green Carpet and Blue Care in the Maastricht approach to reduce socioeconomic health inequalities (INDIGO)

Project: Staff

Project Details


In 2017, the city of Maastricht has started with the stepwise implementation of the Green Carpet: a five kilometer long park avenue that will replace the space that was occupied by the A2 highway which crossed the four lowest socio-economic status (SES) neighborhoods of the city. The A2 highway is tunneled since January 2017. Along with the implementation of the Green Carpet, Blue Care is implemented in the same low-SES area of the city. As one of the national pioneer sites Maastricht municipality, health insurers, citizens and local partners in care and public health joined forces in an integrated approach to improve quality of life of the most vulnerable inhabitants of the city. This leads to the unique situation where two major changes in the physical and social environment of low-SES communities come together in Maastricht, both in time and place. At a public administrative level, the changes are implemented within two different types of sectors; the physical infrastructural and spatial planning sectors on the one hand and the social and health sectors on the other hand.
Indigo is the color which, according to Newton, follows Green and Blue in the optical spectrum and this inspired us to use the acronym INDIGO: INtegrale en Duurzame Interacties ter bevordering van positieve Gezondheid in Oost-Maastricht (in English: Integral and sustainable interactions promoting positive health in Maastricht East). Since 2015, the Green Carpet and Blue Care have identified the potential synergies in multiple co-design sessions that have been organised. Since 2016; the continuous search for synergy between ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ has been explicitly incorporated in the municipal policy. The integral
approach brings together spatial planners, health promotors, general practitioners, nurse practitioners (chronic care and mental care), community nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, researchers and municipal administration officers (social support, youth care, and participation). At the same time, policy makers from physical infrastructural and spatial planning sectors and the social and health sectors at strategic, tactical and operational level cooperate. As such, the integral approach within INDIGO aims to promote collaborative governance both within and across the physical infrastructural and the social and health sectors.
Strategies that are used to promote the integral approach include: 1. the assignment of policy brokers, 2. co-design sessions, 3. professional training and 4. promotion of citizen participation.
In this study, a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods will be used to evaluate the effectiveness and process of the implementation of INDIGO on reducing socioeconomic health inequalities. The effectiveness study will be executed in the form of a natural experiment in which citizens are followed over time with a combination of methodologies (accelerometry, GPS-loggers, questionnaires and care files). Inhabitants of the targeted neighborhoods will be compared to inhabitants of control neighborhoods during four years. The process evaluation study will apply a qualitative research design using participatory observations, semi-structured interviews and document analyses. Research questions relate to how programmes are implemented, but also to how the integration strategies– policy brokers, co-design sessions, professional training and citizen participation – contribute to sustainable conditions for the implementation of these programmes to improve positive health.
Effective start/end date1/04/181/04/22


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.