Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

EXposome Powered tools for healthy living in urbAN SEttings

Project description

Healthy living in the city

People are moving from rural areas to cities in search of a better life. While city life has its obvious charms and advantages, there is also a downside. For instance, the environment we live in accounts for an estimated 70 % of the chronic disease burden. The EU-funded EXPANSE project will study the urban exposome, which is the sum of all non-genetic drivers of health and disease. Its aim is to identify ways to maximise one’s health in a modern urban environment. To do so, EXPANSE will examine the health and exposome data of 55 million Europeans. In addition, in-depth omics analyses of well-characterised cohorts will be conducted. The project will establish the largest European urban exposome consortium to date and build upon the methodological development and insights gained from the first generation of exposome projects.


By 2030 more than 80% of Europe’s population will live and interact with a complex urban environment, consisting of a mixture of social and environmental factors. These factors include: where we live and work, where and what we eat, our social network, and what chemical substances we are exposed to. Individually or collectively these factors, known as the Urban Exposome, have an often modifiable impact on our health and provide important targets to improve population health. By studying the impact of the Urban Exposome on the major contributors to Europe’s burden of disease: Cardio-Metabolic and Pulmonary Disease, EXPANSE will address one of the most pertinent questions for urban planners, policy makers, and European citizens: “How to maximize one’s health in a modern urban environment?”.
EXPANSE will take the next step in Exposome research by: 1) bringing together the Exposome and health data of more than 55 million Europeans in administrative cohorts, in-depth Exposome, phenotype, and OMICs information for more than 2 million Europeans, and personalized Exposome assessment for 5,000 individuals living in five “Urban Labs”; 2) applying a novel approach to use ultra-high-resolution mass-spectrometry to agnostically screen for exogenous chemicals in 10,000 blood samples; 3) studying the evolution of the Exposome and health through the life-course via both (matured) birth and adult cohorts; and 4) evaluating the impact of changes in the Urban Exposome on the burden of Cardio-Metabolic and Pulmonary Disease.
EXPANSE will translate its insights and innovations into research and dissemination tools that will be openly accessible via the EXPANSE toolbox. By applying innovative ethics-by-design throughout the project, the social and ethical acceptability of these tools will be safeguarded. Tool discoverability and accessibility will be stimulated through the EXPANSE hub in which citizens, public sector policy makers, and private sector companies collectively participate. EXPANSE is part of the European Human Exposome Network comprised of 9 projects selected from this same call

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 2 073 925,00
3584 CS Utrecht

See on map

West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 073 925,00

Participants (20)