The world is becoming more urbanized and cities of the future need to be people-centred. Robust evidence-based knowledge on the underlying biological and psychological processes, by which Urban Planning & Design influence brain circuits and human behaviour, will be critical for policy making on urban health. Emotions are key drivers of our decisions; similarly, our choices are the conduit for our well-being and health.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, the eMOTIONAL Cities is a 48-month project designed to fully characterise the intensity and complexity of urban health challenges and inequalities – in particular the field of mental health. The project is co-coordinated by by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT) and the Lisbon School of Medicine (FMUL) of the University of Lisbon, and it comprises of a total of 12 international renowned partners. The project has started on the 1st of March 2021 with a total budget of nearly 5 million Euros.

Adopting a systematic approach, based on natural experiments and actual problems of case-study cities, the eMOTIONAL Cities will provide robust scientific evidence on how the natural and built urban environment shapes human cognitive and emotional processing, with a perspective that also incorporates age, gender and vulnerable groups’ specificities – such as elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment.

The project is also a member of the Urban Health Cluster of the European Commission, being responsible for two working groups: Health determinants and urban interventions (WG2); and Urban issues and epidemics (WG4).


Alexandre de Mendonça graduated at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, in 1982, obtained the title of Specialist in Neurology in 1991, the Ph.D. degree in Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Lisbon in 1995 and accomplished the Agregação degree in Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Lisbon in 2001. He is presently Investigador Coordenador and invited Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon. His main scientific areas of research are the cognitive decline of ageing and the neurophysiological basis for memory. He participated and coordinated research projects on basic neurosciences as well as clinical trials in dementia and mild cognitive impairment and is author of more than 150 full publications in international journals subjected to peer review.

Diego Mora received a diploma as Electronic Engineer from the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS, Bucaramanga, Colombia), working with Detection of Carcinoma of the Mammary Gland Evaluation of using Infrared Thermography. He did his Masters and Doctorate in the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE, Puebla, México). During his master's studies, he worked on the Design of Integrated reading circuits for Microbolometers. He obtained a Doctorate in Science degree in 2017 researching on Pain detection in healthy subjects with EEG analysis oriented to non-communicative patients, with an Internship with COMA Science Group (Liège, Belgium) to analyze EEG in non-communicative patients in resting state. He did a Postdoc as a Junior researcher in Universidade da Madeira and M-ITI, working on Motor Rehabilitation using Brain Interface Computer and Virtual Reality (BCI - VR) with Stroke Survivors. Also, he has been an invited researcher under the Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds (BOF) program in Hasselt Universiteit and the REVAL group in 2018 and 2021 to study Studying the effect of tES on MI BCI training.

Leonardo Ancora obtained his master degree in Economy, International Finance and Risk Management (2015) at University of Rome “La Sapienza”. His graduation work was on a model that uses artificial neural networks to forecast stock prices in the financial market (Eni and Luxottica), in collaboration with the Semeion research centre in Rome, under the supervision of Professor Massimo Buscema. After his graduation, he collaborated in several projects in the technology strategy and architecture area working as professional consultant for Blue Consulting (2016) and Deloitte Consulting (2017). His tasks were firstly addressed to the implementation of security policies, risk analysis, and process governance for an Insurance firm; secondly, he was involved in Demand Management activities for the major telco company operating in Italy. Finally, he started his journey in Lisbon for Bold International (2018) working in the artificial intelligence (AI) department for one of the biggest banks in Europe. Here he participated in implementing robot process automation for back-office operations, creation of automated report structuring using Natural Language Technology and developing an AI powered chatbot across the organization. He achieved both IBM AI and Data Science certification (2020), working on a final project to locate a business activity in the city of Rome, taking into account the number of places of interest, renting costs and venues nearby. Moreover, his interests include the machine learning (ML) applications in the health care industry: one of his most important jobs is developing a ML-based model that could predict the efficacy and risk of adverse events in a drug treatment for prostate cancer patients (2021). Leonardo has been pushed by his curiosity and willing to learn in discovery and innovate through technology.

Marta Conceição obtained her Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering (2019) at Instituto Superior Técnico - Universidade de Lisboa. During the course of her degree, she learned about medical imaging, machine learning, signal and image acquisition and processing, which led to her dissertation work on computer aided diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease using FDG-PET images of the brain. After her graduation, Marta began a career as a data scientist; she worked in the industry for 2 years, during which she had the opportunity to grow and strengthen her data science and machine learning skills. Then, presented with the possibility of combining those techniques with her research interests in the biomedical field, such as neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, medical imaging, virtual reality and emotion recognition, Marta embarked on a new adventure in academia. She joined the eMOTIONAL cities project as a research assistant in May 2021 at Lisbon School of Medicine, where she also seeks to continue with the PhD program of CAML, with specialization in Neurosciences.

Bruno Miranda obtained is Medical degree (2006) at the University of Lisbon and his PhD degree (2016) in Neuroscience at the University College of London (and as part of the International Neurocience Doctoral Programme at the Champalimaud Foundation). His graduation work was on the computational models and neural signatures for different reinforcement learning strategies which can be used to guide decision-making, under the supervision of Doctor Steven Kennerley and Professor Peter Dayan (2017 Brain Prize). From a clinical perspective he obtained his title of Specialist in Neurology (2019) and has undertaken in-depth training in epidemiological and patient-oriented research skills. His clinical research has been centred on cognition and neurophysiology in both neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. At present, he is a Junior Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Lisbon School of Medicine of the University of Lisbon; and a Clinical Researcher at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes. His current research work is focused on how the basic principles of human goal-directed behaviour and decision-making models can provide mechanistic explanations for human-environmental interactions and neuropsychiatric manifestations (characterized by failures to learn or act based on models of the environment). Moreover, his interests include transdisciplinary collaborations and applications of such neurobiological principles to other fields such as urban planning (or neurourbanism) and architecture (neuroarchitecture). The experimental methods used to address these research questions include detailed behavioural analysis (e.g., biomonitoring and digital health), computational modelling, as well as neurophysiology and neuroimaging techniques.

Fausto José da Conceição Alexandre Pinto was born on November 3, 1960, in Santarém.  He attended the Lisbon School of Medicine in the academic years 1978-1984, having completed his degree in 1984 with the final classification of 18 values.
Specialty of Cardiology (Santa Maria Hospital and Stanford University Medical Center, USA). In 1992, he finished Complementary Boarding School of Cardiology, having obtained the final classification of 19.9 values. Specialist of Cardiology by the Order of Physicians since 4/7/92. Senior Graduate Assistant in Cardiology at CHULN.
In December 1993 he got his PhD in Medicine (Cardiology) at Lisbon School of Medicine, dissertation: Intracoronary Ultrasound in the Study of Coronary Disease - The Transplanted Heart Model.  In 1997, he performed aggregation tests in Cardiology, with the synthesis lesson "Evolution and Impact of Ultrasound applied to the study of the heart".
Director of the Cardiology Service (since 2014) and Heart and Vessels Department (since 2016) of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte (CHULN).
Dean of the Lisbon School of Medicine (FMUL) (2015-2022).
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Academic Center of Medicine of Lisbon (CAML) (2019-2021).
Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at FMUL since 2010.
President of the World Heart Federation (WHF) (2021-2022).
President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) (2014-2016).
President of the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools (CEMP) (2019-2020).
Founder and First President of the Executive Board of the Cooperation Network of Portuguese Language Schools (CODEM-LP) (2019)
President of the Cardiovascular Center of the University of Lisbon (CCUL) since 2013.
President and Founder of the European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) (2002-04), currently EACVI (European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging)
Fellow and Gold Medal of ESC (FESC), American College of Cardiology (FACC), American Society of Echocardiography (FASE), European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (FEACVI), Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention (FSCAI), American Society of Angiology (FASA), full member of the Portuguese Academy of Medicine (chair XXXV), honorary member of multiple international organizations: National Academy of Medicine of Brazil,  Bahia Academy of Medicine, Czech Cardiology Society, Colombian Society of Cardiology, Hungarian Society of Cardiology, Japanese Circulation Society, Societé Française de Cardiologie, Societá Italiana di Ultragrafia Cardiovasculare, Peruvian Society of Cardiology, Romanian Society of Cardiology, Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russian Society of Cardiology, Slovakian Society of Cardiology, Brazilian Society of Cardiology.
He has received several distinctions from various scientific institutions in Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, China, Colombia, Cuba, Slovakia, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malta, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, USA.
Member of the Editorial Board of multiple national and international scientific journals.
Professional areas of interest: Cardiovascular imaging, in particular ultrasound, having pioneered the use of intravascular ultrasound in the study of transplanted heart; Ischaemic heart disease; Intervention Cardiology; Heart failure; Anticoagulation, Digital Cardiology.
He has published more than 600 scientific papers (h=58) and participated in more than 2000 national and, above all, international conferences.

José Ferro is Full Professor of Neurology and President of the Conselho de Escola at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa; Director of the Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health and of the Neurology Service at the Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte; and Principal Investigator at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa. In the last decade, Prof. Ferro focus his research on 2 main topics: cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis plus neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric consequences of cerebrovascular diseases. With his team, they succeeded in creating and leading a global network of clinical centers with interest in cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis, which contributed by enrolling patients and also by creative intellectual contributions for the design of the research and for producing scientific output. They also developed a neuropsychological battery and coordinated theneurocognitive module of a European multicenter cohort study of a large sample of subjects aged>65 with subcortical white mater vascular lesion. In a collaborative study with psychiatry, they systematically described a broad range of psychiatric disturbances in acute and chronic stroke patients. Prof. Ferro is author or co-author of 337 publications in peer-review journals and 67 book chapters; participated in multiple multicenter international randomized clinical trial as a global principal investigator, country and center coordinator and member of executive, steering or adjudication committees.

Mamede de Carvalho is the full Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine-University of Lisbon, Director do the Institute of Physiology and Group Leader of the Institute of Molecular Medicine.  He works in the Neuroscience Department of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte- Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon as senior consultant of neurology (neuromuscular disorders) and neurophysiology..His scientific activity mainly involves Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy, Neurophysiology of the Respiratory Muscles, Magnetic Stimulation and Direct Current Stimulation. He has more than 450 papers published in International journals. He is in the editorial board of several scientific journals, serving as associated editor in some. 
He served for 4 years as member at large of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology and President of the International Clinical Neurophysiology Society. He was awarded with the Robert Schwalbe Prize of the American Association of Clinical Neurophysiology, the Forbes Norris Award of the International Alliance for ALS/MND and the Bial Prize. 

The FMUL is the main responsible to bridge urban planning and the neuroscience (basic and clinical) studies, being the leader of the work package (WP) involving neuroscience experiments (WP5). These experiments will happen both in the laboratory as well as in the urban public space of three European (Lisbon, Copenhagen and London) and one American (East Lansing) cities. On one hand, we will take advantage of state of the art methodologies to study the human brain such as functional magnetic resonance and high density EEG. On the other side, through specific outdoor experiments, the eMOTIONAL Cities will invite adult volunteers to perform trajectories in the urban environment as if it was a regular working day. During their interactions with the environment, spatial, environmental, behavioural, physiological and neurobiological data will be collected.

In addition, the FMUL team will also make important contributions to all other WPs: having a co-coordination role for the project’s management (WP1); leading the scope review about the neuroscience evidence applied to urban planning and design (WP2); developing the requirements for data privacy and management for clinical and non-clinical research (WP3); providing support with relevant clinical and neuroscientific knowledge for the spatial analysis of the cities (WP4); analysing the evidence of the urban characteristics that particularly affect vulnerable groups (WP6); coordinating the specification of the case-studies to showcase the developed scenario discovery framework that will support policy related evidence (WP7); and helping on the dissemination and communication among the neuroscience and medical community (WP8).



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