The University of Westminster is inviting London residents to fill in the London Green Space Survey to understand how people use, experience, and feel about public green space in London during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what impact this has on their health and wellbeing.
With many people no longer getting exercise from other parts of daily life such as walking to the Tube station to go to work, there is a risk of substantial decline in physical activity, potentially with a major impact on health.
Conversely, people have been encouraged to take daily exercise outside and this activity could be crucial for health and well-being, with many other reasons to leave the house gone, with, for example, pubs, many shops, and cinemas shut.
Through analysis of online survey research, and discourse analysis of public social media platforms such as Twitter, the researchers hope to explore Londoners’ experiences of using green and open space under social distancing conditions.
Combining quantitative and qualitative results, with a policy review on how London authorities that manage parks and open space are responding to the challenges of COVID-19, the researchers may be able to influence policy London-wide and at Borough level as it develops in these unprecedented times.
Those who take part in the online survey also have a chance to win £50 vouchers.
The study is funded by the Sustainable Cities and Urban Environments research community and is led by Dr Krystallia Kamvasinou, Senior Lecturer on the Urban Design MA, International Planning and Sustainable Development MA, Architecture MA, and Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours courses, with Dr Rachel Aldred, Professor on the Transport and Planning Management MSc course and Director of the Active Travel Academy, from the School of Architecture + Cities, and Dr Nina Smyth, Senior Lecturer on the Psychology BSc Honours course, from the School of Social Sciences. Ameera Akl and Holly Weir, both PhD students in the School of Architecture + Cities, are Research Associates for the study.
Dr Kamvasinou said about the study: "Our research will show how important green space is for people’s wellbeing during the pandemic. People can use green space for daily exercise outside the home, cycling or running instead of catching the bus or tube, but also simply walking, meeting others, or relaxing in nature. The research can help local authorities develop better policies ensuring safe access to green space for all. We hope this may have lasting impact beyond the pandemic."
If you have any questions, please contact Dr Krystallia Kamvasinou at [email protected].