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Special Issue "Experiencing the City: The Relation between Urban Design and People’s Wellbeing"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Minou Weijs - Perrée
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of the Built Environment, Real Estate Management and Development, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: social networks; subjective wellbeing; user experience; urban environment; public space; mental health at work
Dr. Gamze Dane
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: human-environment interaction; spatial perceptions; urban regeneration; urban sensing; urban informatics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization brings major challenges with regard to livability and the health and quality of life of citizens. It is important that the urban environment meets the current needs of society, so that people have positive experiences, feel safe, comfortable, and are satisfied with their surroundings. How the city is experienced (e.g. by seeing, hearing, or feeling) could shape people’s urban life. Because it is recognized that people are the most important actors in urban planning processes, there is a growing interest in the relationship between public space and the perception of it by citizens, both in (scientific) research and among policymakers. However, there is still little empirical research on the momentary perception, experience, and feelings of people in relation to the urban design of cities. Research using novel approaches (e.g., virtual reality (VR), real-time surveys, and geotagging) is necessary to extract more data about the urban environment and about people’s momentary experiences or feelings that eventually can help to develop policy on health and wellbeing in urban areas. Results could also be interesting for urban planners when designing an attractive, livable, and safe living environment for citizens.

Therefore, this Special Issue seeks papers with new empirical findings on experiencing the urban environment and how this is related to people’s wellbeing, as well as papers highlighting novel methods to measure and analyze momentary experiences in the city. We also welcome papers on urban interventions to increase citizens’ wellbeing and high-quality systematic reviews related to experiencing the urban environment.

Dr. Minou Weijs – Perrée
Dr. Pauline van den Berg
Dr. Gamze Dane
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urban public space
  • Subjective wellbeing (SWB)
  • Life satisfaction
  • Urban emotions
  • Urban experience
  • Urban interventions
  • Urban design
  • Spatial behavior

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on “Experiencing the City: The Relation between Urban Design and People’s Well-Being”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052485 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 994
Abstract
Urbanization brings major challenges with regard to livability and the health and quality of life of citizens [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Assessing Comfort in Urban Public Spaces: A Structural Equation Model Involving Environmental Attitude and Perception
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031287 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
The research of comfort in urban public spaces has become increasingly important for improving environmental quality and encouraging people spend more time in outdoor activities. Among numerous approaches to understand comfort perception, the rational indices based on heat balance theory have prevailed to [...] Read more.
The research of comfort in urban public spaces has become increasingly important for improving environmental quality and encouraging people spend more time in outdoor activities. Among numerous approaches to understand comfort perception, the rational indices based on heat balance theory have prevailed to guide the research and practice in urban planning, design, and management. The limitations of a solely rational index-based approach reveal the necessity for a more comprehensive understanding of comfort by considering a wider range of influential factors from both individual and environmental perspectives during the assessing process. This study conceptualizes individuals’ comfort in urban public spaces as a latent construct, which is measured by indicators regarding perceptions on multifarious meteorological variables. The conceptual framework has been introduced involving hypothetical relationships among individuals’ comfort, attitudes, and environmental perceptions in urban public spaces. A series of field work including microclimate measurements and questionnaire-based surveys were carried out in two public squares in Changsha, China. Based on the dataset derived from 372 questionnaires and related meteorological measurements, this paper examines the relationships between the physical microclimatic variables, individuals’ socio-demographical characteristics and environmental attitudes and perceptions, and outdoor comfort assessment. The estimation results of the structural equation model quantitatively verified the conceptual framework at large, as many hypothetical relationships are identified, which indicates the importance of individuals’ role and the psychological factors in modeling comfort perception. This approach improves the understanding of comfort assessment, contributes to improving the quality of urban environment and the practices of urban planning and management. Full article
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Article
Applying Spatial Video Geonarratives and Physiological Measurements to Explore Perceived Safety in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031284 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Spatial crime analysis, together with perceived (crime) safety analysis have tremendously benefitted from Geographic Information Science (GISc) and the application of geospatial technology. This research study discusses a novel methodological approach to document the use of emerging geospatial technologies to explore perceived urban [...] Read more.
Spatial crime analysis, together with perceived (crime) safety analysis have tremendously benefitted from Geographic Information Science (GISc) and the application of geospatial technology. This research study discusses a novel methodological approach to document the use of emerging geospatial technologies to explore perceived urban safety from the lenses of fear of crime or crime perception in the city of Baton Rouge, USA. The mixed techniques include a survey, spatial video geonarrative (SVG) in the field with study participants, and the extraction of moments of stress (MOS) from biosensing wristbands. This study enrolled 46 participants who completed geonarratives and MOS detection. A subset of 10 of these geonarratives are presented here. Each participant was driven in a car equipped with audio recording and spatial video along a predefined route while wearing the Empatica E4 wristbands to measure three physiological variables, all of them linked by timestamp. The results show differences in the participants’ sentiments (positive or negative) and MOS in the field based on gender. These mixed-methods are encouraging for finding relationships between actual crime occurrences and the community perceived fear of crime in urban areas. Full article
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Article
“Enticing” but Not Necessarily a “Space Designed for Me”: Experiences of Urban Park Use by Older Adults with Disability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020552 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Urban parks are spaces that can enhance older adults’ physical, social and psychological wellbeing. As the prevalence of older adults with disability increases, it is important that urban parks are accessible to this population so that they too might gain health benefits. There [...] Read more.
Urban parks are spaces that can enhance older adults’ physical, social and psychological wellbeing. As the prevalence of older adults with disability increases, it is important that urban parks are accessible to this population so that they too might gain health benefits. There is limited literature investigating the experiences of urban parks by older adults with disability. This qualitative study, set in a region of New Zealand, explored the experiences, including accessibility, of urban parks by 17 older adults (55 years and older) with self-reported disabilities. Three focus groups (n = 4, 5 and 4 people) and four individual interviews were undertaken. Data were analyzed using the General Inductive Approach. Two primary themes of “Enticing” and “Park use considerations” are presented. Urban parks and green spaces are perceived to provide an environment for older adults with a disability to improve their physical, psychosocial and spiritual health, and social connectedness. Parks that are not age, ability or culture diverse are uninviting and exclusive. Meaningful collaboration between park designers, city councils and people with disability is required to maximize the public health benefits of parks and make parks inviting and accessible for users of all ages, cultures and abilities. Park co-design with people with disability may provide one means of improving accessibility and park usability and thus park participation by older adults with disability. Full article
Article
The Relationship between Urban Vibrancy and Built Environment: An Empirical Study from an Emerging City in an Arid Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020525 - 10 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Creating a vital and lively urban environment is an inherent requirement of urban sustainable development, and understanding urban vibrancy is helpful for urban development policy making. The urban vibrancy theory needs more empirical supplementation and more evidence for the effect of the built [...] Read more.
Creating a vital and lively urban environment is an inherent requirement of urban sustainable development, and understanding urban vibrancy is helpful for urban development policy making. The urban vibrancy theory needs more empirical supplementation and more evidence for the effect of the built environment on urban vibrancy. We use multisource urban spatial information data, including real-time population distribution (RPD) data and small catering business (SCB) data; quantitatively measure urban vibrancy; and build a comparative framework to explore the effect of the built environment on the urban vibrancy of a northwestern emerging city in China. The results demonstrate that the two urban vibrancy metrics present a spatial distribution pattern that is high in the south and low in the north areas of the city with significant spatial aggregation. Land-use intensity and diversity have strong positive effects on urban vibrancy but present a different pattern of effects on the two vibrancy measures. The influences on urban vibrancy of distance to the district center and distance to the nearest commercial complex are spatially complementary in the study area, and the effect of accessibility factors is weak. Our findings suggest that a somewhat cautious approach is required in the application of these classical planning theories to Urumqi. Full article
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Article
The Study of Walking, Walkability and Wellbeing in Immersive Virtual Environments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020364 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
Recent approaches in the research on walkable environments and wellbeing go beyond correlational analysis to consider the specific characteristics of individuals and their interaction with the immediate environment. Accordingly, a need has been accentuated for new human-centered methods to improve our understanding of [...] Read more.
Recent approaches in the research on walkable environments and wellbeing go beyond correlational analysis to consider the specific characteristics of individuals and their interaction with the immediate environment. Accordingly, a need has been accentuated for new human-centered methods to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying environmental effects on walking and consequently on wellbeing. Immersive virtual environments (IVEs) were suggested as a potential method that can advance this type of research as they offer a unique combination between controlled experimental environments that allow drawing causal conclusions and a high level of environmental realism that supports ecological validity. The current study pilot tested a walking simulator with additional sensor technologies, including biosensors, eye tracking and gait sensors. Results found IVEs to facilitate extremely high tempo-spatial-resolution measurement of physical walking parameters (e.g., speed, number of gaits) along with walking experience and wellbeing (e.g., electrodermal activity, heartrate). This level of resolution is useful in linking specific environmental stimuli to the psychophysiological and behavioral reactions, which cannot be obtained in real-world and self-report research designs. A set of guidelines for implementing IVE technology for research is suggested in order to standardize its use and allow new researchers to engage with this emerging field of research. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Urban Park Attributes on User Preferences: Evaluation of Virtual Parks in an Online Stated-Choice Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010212 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
Urban green areas, such as parks, are becoming increasingly important in densifying cities. Urban parks encourage physical and social activity, recreation and relaxation, and thus eventually promote people’s well-being. The aim of the current study is to examine which urban park attributes influence [...] Read more.
Urban green areas, such as parks, are becoming increasingly important in densifying cities. Urban parks encourage physical and social activity, recreation and relaxation, and thus eventually promote people’s well-being. The aim of the current study is to examine which urban park attributes influence the preferences of park users, in order to offer recommendations regarding how urban parks of quality can be designed. To elicit the preferences of park visitors we designed an online stated-choice experiment. Seven park attributes, in particular the number and composition of trees and the presence of benches, side paths, a playground, litter, and flowers, were manipulated in a virtual park. In an online stated-choice task, videos of these park alternatives were presented and the preferences of 697 participants were measured. It is found that especially the number of trees and the presence of flowerbeds, particularly with a diversity of flowers, influenced participants’ preferences. The presence of many benches and a playground were valued as well, but to a lesser extent. The presence of litter was found to be less troublesome than expected. Alternatives with all trees placed in one cluster were disliked. Moreover, significant standard deviations were found for the presence of side paths, a playground, and the absence of litter, which indicates that preference heterogeneity for these attributes exist. In a latent class analysis, two groups were identified, namely a Nature-loving group, who mainly valued the trees and the flowers, and an Amenity-appreciating group, who valued almost all attributes. It can be concluded that natural elements and a variety of flower species are important in an urban park, while facilities are evaluated differently by different groups of people. These findings may support park designers and policymakers in decision-making. Moreover, it illustrates the usefulness of creating a virtual park in environmental preference research. Full article
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Article
Inclusive Parks across Ages: Multifunction and Urban Open Space Management for Children, Adolescents, and the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249357 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1865
Abstract
In urban areas where increased density has caused loss of urban open space (UOS), there is a need for high-quality parks that are inclusive and fit for multiple user groups. To make parks more inclusive, UOS management may need to consider multifunction and [...] Read more.
In urban areas where increased density has caused loss of urban open space (UOS), there is a need for high-quality parks that are inclusive and fit for multiple user groups. To make parks more inclusive, UOS management may need to consider multifunction and the perspectives of various age groups in future development and maintenance activities. Walking interviews were conducted in a park in central Landskrona, Sweden, with children, adolescents, and elderly users, and also with the head park manager of the city. The results revealed different perspectives among the three age groups of users concerning affordances and UOS management. The manager described user-oriented management to support multifunction and inclusion, including user participation. All user groups studied showed an appreciation of liveliness, contact with nature, social places for their own age group, clean and safe parks, and a variety of different atmospheres and activities in the park. Social multifunction can be developed in programmed or non-programmed ways, but some functions interfere with each other. UOS managers can develop parks to suit different age groups, promote user participation within management, and develop social multifunction to create inclusive parks for various age groups. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Animate-Inanimate Soundscapes and Framing on Environments’ Evaluation and Predicted Recreation Time
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239086 - 05 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
In this research, we investigated whether soundscapes’ animateness and the framing of environments affect participants’ assessment of the surroundings and their predicted recreation time. In an online study, we showed the participants six stimuli, each consisting of an animate or inanimate soundscape recording [...] Read more.
In this research, we investigated whether soundscapes’ animateness and the framing of environments affect participants’ assessment of the surroundings and their predicted recreation time. In an online study, we showed the participants six stimuli, each consisting of an animate or inanimate soundscape recording and of a verbal label of a natural or urban environment. We asked them to (a) imagine visiting the presented locations while mentally fatigued, in company or alone; (b) to visualize spending time there while engaged in recreational activities; and (c) to assess the environment and the predicted recreation time. We found that environments with animate soundscapes were rated as having a higher degree of naturalness and were favored in the urban condition. Environments with inanimate soundscapes, meanwhile, were preferred in the natural condition. Furthermore, natural-framed soundscapes were evaluated as having a higher degree of naturalness and were preferred over urban-framed soundscapes. Social context did not affect the results; however, we discovered the indirect effect of natural labels on the recreation time through the naturalness of the environments, both for the environments with animate and inanimate soundscapes. Overall, our findings demonstrate the influence of soundscapes’ animateness and framing on the settings’ evaluations and on recreation time. Full article
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Article
Urban Emotion Sensing Beyond ‘Affective Capture’: Advancing Critical Interdisciplinary Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239003 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The use of mobile sensor methodologies in urban analytics to study ‘urban emotions’ is currently outpacing the science required to rigorously interpret the data generated. Interdisciplinary research on ‘urban stress’ could help inform urban wellbeing policies relating to healthier commuting and alleviation of [...] Read more.
The use of mobile sensor methodologies in urban analytics to study ‘urban emotions’ is currently outpacing the science required to rigorously interpret the data generated. Interdisciplinary research on ‘urban stress’ could help inform urban wellbeing policies relating to healthier commuting and alleviation of work stress. The purpose of this paper is to address—through methodological experimentation—ethical, political and conceptual issues identified by critical social scientists with regards to emotion tracking, wearables and data analytics. We aim to encourage more dialogue between the critical approach and applied environmental health research. The definition of stress is not unambiguous or neutral and is mediated by the very technologies we use for research. We outline an integrative methodology in which we combine pilot field research using biosensing technologies, a novel method for identifying ‘moments of stress’ in a laboratory setting, psychometric surveys and narrative interviews on workplace and commuter stress in urban environments. Full article
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Article
Improving the Pedestrian’s Perceptions of Safety on Street Crossings. Psychological and Neurophysiological Effects of Traffic Lanes, Artificial Lighting, and Vegetation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228576 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
The effect that the physical characteristics of urban design have on the pedestrian’s perceptions of safety is a fundamental aspect of city planning. This is particularly so with street crossings, where the pedestrian has to make a decision. This paper analyses how pedestrians [...] Read more.
The effect that the physical characteristics of urban design have on the pedestrian’s perceptions of safety is a fundamental aspect of city planning. This is particularly so with street crossings, where the pedestrian has to make a decision. This paper analyses how pedestrians are affected by number of traffic lanes, lighting colour temperature, and nearby vegetation as they cross roads. Perceptions of safety were quantified by means of the psychological and neurophysiological responses of 60 participants to 16 virtual reality scenarios (4 day and 12 night), based on existing urban design variables. The results showed differences between night-time and daytime scenarios, which suggests that there is a need to analyse both situations. As to the design guidelines, it was observed that safety is improved by reducing the number of traffic lanes and nearby vegetation, and by using a lighting colour temperature of 4500 K. However, the analysis of the variables showed that combined effects produce different results to those obtained from the analysis of individual elements. This result is essential information for urban managers in their assessments of whether particular interventions will improve crossing points. Full article
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Article
Public Spaces as Knowledgescapes: Understanding the Relationship between the Built Environment and Creative Encounters at Dutch University Campuses and Science Parks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207421 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
The success of university campuses depends on the interrelations between creative encounters and the built environment, conceptualised here as spatial affordances for creativity. Such an interface plays a fundamental role in interactions for knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas on campus. Due [...] Read more.
The success of university campuses depends on the interrelations between creative encounters and the built environment, conceptualised here as spatial affordances for creativity. Such an interface plays a fundamental role in interactions for knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas on campus. Due to campus public spaces generally being considered as the leftovers between buildings and classrooms, undermanaged, and overlooked, little is known about the extent to which this built environment enables or inhibits creative encounters in such spaces. The inner-city campuses and science parks (SPs) of Amsterdam and Utrecht, the case-studies of this research, differ in terms of their location relative to the city, their masterplan typologies and the arrangement of buildings. However, they are similar in terms of the aforementioned issues of public spaces. The novelty of this research is the attempt to overcome such issues using an innovative mixed-methods approach that tests the ‘spatial affordances for creativity’ with empirical data collection and analysis. This raises the importance of mapping, quantifying and analysing the spatial distribution of momentary perceptions, experiences, and feelings of people with methods such as volunteered geographic information (VGI). The results show that proximity between multiple urban functions and physical features, such as parks, cafés and urban seating are important when it comes to explaining the high frequency of creative encounters between people. Urban designers of campuses can use the applied method as a tool to plan and design attractive public spaces that provide creativity through the transfer of tacit knowledge, social well-being, positive momentary perceptions, sense of community, and a sense of place. Full article
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Article
An Interdisciplinary Mixed-Methods Approach to Analyzing Urban Spaces: The Case of Urban Walkability and Bikeability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 6994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17196994 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
Human-centered approaches are of particular importance when analyzing urban spaces in technology-driven fields, because understanding how people perceive and react to their environments depends on several dynamic and static factors, such as traffic volume, noise, safety, urban configuration, and greenness. Analyzing and interpreting [...] Read more.
Human-centered approaches are of particular importance when analyzing urban spaces in technology-driven fields, because understanding how people perceive and react to their environments depends on several dynamic and static factors, such as traffic volume, noise, safety, urban configuration, and greenness. Analyzing and interpreting emotions against the background of environmental information can provide insights into the spatial and temporal properties of urban spaces and their influence on citizens, such as urban walkability and bikeability. In this study, we present a comprehensive mixed-methods approach to geospatial analysis that utilizes wearable sensor technology for emotion detection and combines information from sources that correct or complement each other. This includes objective data from wearable physiological sensors combined with an eDiary app, first-person perspective videos from a chest-mounted camera, and georeferenced interviews, and post-hoc surveys. Across two studies, we identified and geolocated pedestrians’ and cyclists’ moments of stress and relaxation in the city centers of Salzburg and Cologne. Despite open methodological questions, we conclude that mapping wearable sensor data, complemented with other sources of information—all of which are indispensable for evidence-based urban planning—offering tremendous potential for gaining useful insights into urban spaces and their impact on citizens. Full article
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Article
Designing Urban Green Space (UGS) to Enhance Health: A Methodology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145205 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Policymakers and urban designers strive to implement the increasing evidence about the positive association between urban green space (UGS) and health in policy. In Almere, The Netherlands, the Regenboogbuurt (“Rainbow Quarter”) neighbourhood is currently being revitalized. The research team was asked to deliver [...] Read more.
Policymakers and urban designers strive to implement the increasing evidence about the positive association between urban green space (UGS) and health in policy. In Almere, The Netherlands, the Regenboogbuurt (“Rainbow Quarter”) neighbourhood is currently being revitalized. The research team was asked to deliver design principles for the improvement of UGS in this neighbourhood to benefit the health of its residents. However, robust studies that demonstrate what UGS criteria offer what particular benefit for what target group are scarce. This paper contributes to the need for more evidence-based UGS design by presenting the approach we used to develop UGS design principles for Regenboogbuurt. Demographic information, health statistics, residents’ opinions, and data about the current use of UGS were analysed to choose target groups and to formulate health benefit goals. We also developed a model for assessing the health benefits of UGS. For two age groups (those aged 10–24 and 40–60), stimulating physical health and social cohesion, respectively, were determined to be the goals of improving UGS. UGS design principles were then assessed based on the existing literature. These principles will be taken into account when this area is revitalized in 2021. Thus, there will be an opportunity to measure whether these design principles did indeed contribute to residents’ health. Full article
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Article
Location Choice in the Context of Older Adults’ Leisure-Time Walking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134775 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Leisure-time walking is the most prevalent and preferred form of physical activity of older adults. In order to promote leisure-time walking and enhance the efficiency of using outdoor open spaces, the supply of different types of walking locations should match the needs, interests [...] Read more.
Leisure-time walking is the most prevalent and preferred form of physical activity of older adults. In order to promote leisure-time walking and enhance the efficiency of using outdoor open spaces, the supply of different types of walking locations should match the needs, interests and preferences of older adults. However, there is limited knowledge on which location types are chosen by which groups of individuals under which conditions. This study therefore examines the effects of socio-demographics, episode participation attributes and neighborhood characteristics on the location choice of older adults for leisure-time walking. A multinomial logit model is estimated based on data collected among 316 respondents aged 60 or older in Dalian, China. The results indicate that older people’s location choices for walking are associated with their socio-demographics, episode participation attributes and neighborhood characteristics. Finally, implications of the results for the planning, design and management of open spaces are identified. Full article
Article
Multi-Agent-Based Urban Vegetation Design
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093075 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
Urban vegetation is an essential element of the urban city pedestrian walkway. Despite city forest regulations and urban planning best practices, vegetation planning lacks clear comprehension and compatibility with other urban elements surrounding it. Urban planners and academic researchers currently devote vital attention [...] Read more.
Urban vegetation is an essential element of the urban city pedestrian walkway. Despite city forest regulations and urban planning best practices, vegetation planning lacks clear comprehension and compatibility with other urban elements surrounding it. Urban planners and academic researchers currently devote vital attention to include most of the urban elements and their impact on the occupants and the environment in the planning stage of urban development. With the advancement in computational design, they have developed various algorithms to generate design alternatives and measure their impact on the environment that meets occupants’ needs and perceptions of their city. In particular, multi-agent-based simulations show great promise in developing rule compliance with urban vegetation design tools. This paper proposed an automatic urban vegetation city rule compliance approach for pedestrian pathway vegetation, leveraging multi-agent system and algorithmic modeling tools. This approach comprises three modules: rule compliance (T-Rule), street vegetation design tool (T-Design), and multi-agent alternative generation (T-Agent). Notably, the scope of the paper is limited to trees, shrubbery, and seating area configurations in the urban pathway context. To validate the developed design tool, a case study was tested, and the vegetation design tool generated the expected results successfully. A questionnaire was conducted to give feedback on the use of the developed tool for enhancing positive experience of the developed tool. It is anticipated that the proposed tool has the potential to aid urban planners in decision-making and develop more practical vegetation planting plans compared with the conventional Two-Dimensional (2D) plans, and give the city occupants the chance to take part in shaping their city by merely selecting from predefined parameters in a user interface to generate their neighborhood pathway vegetation plans. Moreover, this approach can be extended to be embedded in an interactive map where city occupants can shape their neighborhood greenery and give feedback to urban planners for decision-making. Full article
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Article
The Role of Urban Morphology Design on Enhancing Physical Activity and Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072359 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2653
Abstract
Along with environmental pollution, urban planning has been connected to public health. The research indicates that the quality of built environments plays an important role in reducing mental disorders and overall health. The structure and shape of the city are considered as one [...] Read more.
Along with environmental pollution, urban planning has been connected to public health. The research indicates that the quality of built environments plays an important role in reducing mental disorders and overall health. The structure and shape of the city are considered as one of the factors influencing happiness and health in urban communities and the type of the daily activities of citizens. The aim of this study was to promote physical activity in the main structure of the city via urban design in a way that the main form and morphology of the city can encourage citizens to move around and have physical activity within the city. Functional, physical, cultural-social, and perceptual-visual features are regarded as the most important and effective criteria in increasing physical activities in urban spaces, based on literature review. The environmental quality of urban spaces and their role in the physical activities of citizens in urban spaces were assessed by using the questionnaire tool and analytical network process (ANP) of structural equation modeling. Further, the space syntax method was utilized to evaluate the role of the spatial integration of urban spaces on improving physical activities. Based on the results, consideration of functional diversity, spatial flexibility and integration, security, and the aesthetic and visual quality of urban spaces plays an important role in improving the physical health of citizens in urban spaces. Further, more physical activities, including motivation for walking and the sense of public health and happiness, were observed in the streets having higher linkage and space syntax indexes with their surrounding texture. Full article
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