Park renovation may positively contribute to increased use and physical activity among visitors

Veitch, J. ., Salmon, J. ., Carver, A. ., Timperio, A. ., Crawford, D. ., Fletcher, E. ., & Giles-Corti, B. . (2014). A natural experiment to examine the impact of park renewal on park-use and park-based physical activity in a disadvantaged neighbourhood: The REVAMP study methods. BMC Public Health, 14, 1-9.

Urban park design is garnering interest in recent years as a way to potentially contribute to the physical activity and health of an increasingly overweight and sedentary population in many parts of the world. One strategy known as REVAMP has been implemented by a research team in Australia to measure the impact of a park design improvement on its use and the physical activity of its visitors. This intervention is taking place in a large park in suburban Melbourne with a park of similar dimension and amenities as a control.

The study methodology includes an in-depth self-report survey, direct observation of park users, user interviews and technical equipment which collects daily path and traffic usage data. At the time of this publication, phase 1 of the study had been completed as a baseline. The self-report survey was distributed to 7,649 community members with 1,488 (45.4%) returned completed. The response rate for user interviews was significantly higher as 75.3% of those approached agreed to participate. Next phases of this research project will be conducted in the same time frame one and two years after the baseline data collection period and are scheduled for completion in 2014 and 2015.

Research Partner