Recommendation ID

Changes to public open spaces:- How effective and cost effective are environmental changes to public open spaces (including blue, green and grey spaces) in creating and sustaining an increase in physical activity at a population level?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- There is evidence that open space that is accessible, well maintained, and engaging will be used more often by more people, and so could increase physical activity at a population level. But we found little information on how effective changes to public open spaces are at sustaining an
increase, and whether this is cost effective.
Longitudinal research of interventions to increase the use of public open spaces, with a follow-up period of at least a year and preferably with a matched control group, is needed to provide a better  understanding of how investment in public open space can best enable increases in physical activity
at a population level. Objective measures of physical activity are valuable even if increasing activity
is not a focus of the intervention.
Research is also needed on the effects on physical activity of:
- accessibility by active travel
- availability and quality of public transport to open space
- features and activities available
- involvement of local community in designing changes
- ongoing 'ownership' by local community
- management and maintenance.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Physical activity and the environment
Date issued
March 2018

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/03/2018