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Open AccessArticle

Using Citizen Science to Explore Neighbourhood Influences on Ageing Well: Pilot Project

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The Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research, School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
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School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2019, 7(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare7040126
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creating Age-friendly Communities: Housing and Technology)
Outdoor and indoor environments impact older people’s mobility, independence, quality of life, and ability to “age in place”. Considerable evidence suggests that not only the amount, but also the quality, of public green spaces in the living environment is important. The quality of public green spaces is mostly measured through expert assessments by planners, designers and developers. A disadvantage of this expert-determined approach is that it often does not consider the appraisals or perceptions of residents. Daily experience, often over long periods of time, means older residents have acquired insider knowledge of their neighbourhood, and thus, may be more qualified to assess these spaces, including measuring what makes a valued or quality public green space. The aim of this Australian pilot study on public green spaces for ageing well was to test an innovative citizen science approach to data collection using smart phones. “Senior” citizen scientists trialed the smart phone audit tool over a three-month period, recording and auditing public green spaces in their neighbourhoods. Data collected included geocoded location data, photographs, and qualitative comments along with survey data. While citizen science research is already well established in the natural sciences, it remains underutilised in the social sciences. This paper focuses on the use of citizen science with older participants highlighting the potential for this methodology in the fields of environmental gerontology, urban planning and landscape architecture. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; built environment; older people; urban neighbourhoods; GIS; spatial; Australia citizen science; built environment; older people; urban neighbourhoods; GIS; spatial; Australia
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Barrie, H.; Soebarto, V.; Lange, J.; Mc Corry-Breen, F.; Walker, L. Using Citizen Science to Explore Neighbourhood Influences on Ageing Well: Pilot Project. Healthcare 2019, 7, 126.

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