This month SCPHRP is beginning a new citizen science project exploring how shared (public) outdoor spaces affect health and wellbeing. This project is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) who in the summer of 2017 selected the project as their citizen science project.
About the project
Good quality outdoor spaces are important assets for fostering health and wellbeing and people are becoming increasingly aware of the link between the places we live and spend time and our health. While there is a growing body of research that highlight the link between green spaces and health, there is still a lot we don’t know.
This citizen science project will work with the public to gain a better understanding of the impact urban and rural shared outdoor spaces have on health and wellbeing. The project will also explore whether spaces impact people’s health and wellbeing differently and if so, why?
What is citizen science?
Citizen science is about engaging the public and putting them at the centre of scientific research to help build new ideas and knowledge. There are varying degrees to which the public can be involved in citizen science ranging from identifying the research question and research population, collecting data, to full co-creation in the design, experiment and evaluation of research. This project will be looking to work closely with the public at every stage.
What’s happening now?
We are at the very start of this project. In the next couple of months SCPHRP will be engaging with members of the public to inform the development of a survey and the project as a whole. Later in the year we will be hoping to engage more members of the public to collect data in a whole range of local outdoor spaces, from streets and town squares to beaches, public parks and beyond. Any spaces will be included as long as they are outside and anyone can use them (e.g. it is not a private garden that only the owner uses).
Read more about the project here at Our Outdoors