lancet-header

Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com.

Accessibility and Allocation of Public Parks and Gardens During COVID-19 Social Distancing in England and Wales

24 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Niloofar Shoari

Niloofar Shoari

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

Majid Ezzati

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

Jill Baumgartner

McGill University - Institute for Health and Social Policy

Daniela Fecht

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

More...

Abstract

Background: Visiting parks and gardens may attenuate the adverse physical and mental health impacts of social distancing implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We quantified access to public parks and gardens in urban areas of England and Wales, and the potential for park crowdedness during periods of high use.

Methods: We combined data from the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey to quantified (i) the number of parks within 500 and 1,000 metres of urban postcodes (i.e., availability), (ii) the distance of postcodes to the nearest park (i.e., accessibility), and (iii) per-capita space in each park for people living within 1,000m. We examined variability by city and share of flats.

Findings: Around 25·4 million people can access public parks or gardens within a ten-minute walk, while 3·8 million residents live farther away; of these 21% are children and 13% are elderly. Areas with a higher share of flats on average are closer to a park but people living in these areas are potentially less able to meet social distancing requirements while in parks during periods of high use.

Interpretation: Cities in England and Wales can provide residents with access to green space that enables outdoor exercise and play during social distancing. Keeping public parks and gardens open, might require measures such as dedicated park times for different age groups or entry allocation systems that, combined with smartphone apps or drones, can monitor and manage the total number of people using the park.

Funding: This work is supported by the Pathways to Equitable Healthy Cities grant from the Wellcome Trust [209376/Z/17/Z].

Declaration of Interest: All authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Keywords: COVID-19; green space; access; crowding; cities; isolation

Suggested Citation

Shoari, Niloofar and Ezzati, Majid and Baumgartner, Jill and Fecht, Daniela, Accessibility and Allocation of Public Parks and Gardens During COVID-19 Social Distancing in England and Wales (4/27/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3590503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3590503

Niloofar Shoari

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

London, W2 1PG
United Kingdom

Majid Ezzati

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

Room 520, St Mary’s Campus
Norfolk Place
London, W2 1PG
United Kingdom

Jill Baumgartner

McGill University - Institute for Health and Social Policy

Charles Meredith House
1130 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1A3
Canada

Daniela Fecht (Contact Author)

Imperial College London - MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health ( email )

Room 520, St Mary’s Campus
Norfolk Place
London, W2 1PG
United Kingdom

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,419
Downloads
95
PlumX Metrics