The effectiveness of 'shared space' residential street interventions on self-reported activity levels and quality of life for older people

Curl, A. , Ward Thompson, C. and Aspinall, P. (2015) The effectiveness of 'shared space' residential street interventions on self-reported activity levels and quality of life for older people. Landscape and Urban Planning, 139, pp. 117-125. (doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.019)

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Abstract

The role of the built environment in facilitating physical activity is well recognised. However, longitudinal studies into the effects of changes to the built environment on levels of activity and quality of life outcomes are lacking, especially for older people. This paper presents results from a longitudinal study of ‘home zone’ style changes to residential streets, designed to make streets more ‘liveable’ by reducing the dominance of vehicular traffic and creating shared space. The interventions were focused in deprived areas, where the changes followed an inclusive, community-led approach. The intervention sites were matched with comparison sites receiving no intervention. Whilst existing studies into the outcomes of home zone type interventions have tended to focus on tangible measures such as road casualties or traffic speeds, this study examines broader, self-reported behavioural (i.e. activity levels and perceptions), health and quality of life outcomes. Results were gathered pre-intervention in 2008 and then, post-intervention, in 2010 or 2011 for participants aged 65 or older. They show that interventions are associated with a significant improvement in perceptions of how easy it is to walk on the street near home. Participants also considered that they were significantly more active post-intervention. However, there was less evidence of positive change in health, quality of life, frequency of activities outdoors, time spent outdoors, or better social connectedness. One potential reason is that a greater time period post-implementation is needed for such outcomes to become manifest.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Curl, Dr Angela
Authors: Curl, A., Ward Thompson, C., and Aspinall, P.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Landscape and Urban Planning
Publisher:Elsevier B.V.
ISSN:0169-2046
ISSN (Online):1872-6062
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Landscape and Urban Planning 139:117-125
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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