Accessibility, public space and health

Urban Geography

The research theme Accessibility, public space and health addresses how accessibility of urban amenities, work places, health services and places of education and public spaces depends on urban form and characteristics of the transport system. It also addresses how accessibility develops with changes in urban structure and as a result of transport innovations such as shared mobility. Furthermore, this theme investigates how accessibility differs between groups depending on their socio-economic, lifestyle or locational characteristics, and how this facilitates or hampers the use of facilities and public spaces, social participation and health.

How do inhabitants and visitors use and experience the city in their daily life? How does this influence their health and well-being? For behaviours such as shopping and recreation, sports, social interaction and daily travel it is being investigated how inhabitants and visitors depend on the specific qualities of urban environments.

Specific attention is given to social interaction in public spaces in this respect. Outcomes of daily behaviours are studied in relation with the use and experience of amenities and public space. In the health domain, we study how engagement in physical activity is influenced by the presence of sports accommodations, parks and infrastructure that promotes active travel, how dietary behaviour depends on exposure to food outlets, and how mental health is affected by exposure to urban and green environments. In addition, the embodied experiences of exposures, daily activities and travel are studied.