The Martin Center for Urban Studies and Cambridge Wellbeing Institute are looking for case studies into whether outdoor neighbourhood spaces contribute to good mental health

How do outdoor neighbourhood spaces contribute to mental wellbeing?

The study, a collaboration between the Martin Center for Urban Studies and the Cambridge Wellbeing Institute, is looking for schemes that involve new, or improved, outdoor neighbourhood space, due to be completed before August 2012.

The key aim of the study is to measure user experiences and behaviours before and after an intervention. This will allow potential mental health impacts to be measured with greater confidence. Ideally, the study would be carried out in a predominantly residential area within the UK.

An appropriate intervention could include a masterplan or a smaller-scale public realm project. Most importantly, the scheme should involve either the introduction or upgrade of functionality. This might include hard landscaped space with seating/tables, a pocket park, homezone, shared space, an allotment or community garden, green corridor, communal sports/games facilities etc, or a mixture of the above.

Jamie Anderson at the Cambridge Wellbeing Institute, said: “The market downturn has made case study selection difficult. We would therefore be most grateful if you could suggest a project that may fit. Alternatively, recommendation of a construction company or local authority, whom have such plans, would also be gratefully received.”

Please contact Jamie Anderson at the Cambridge Wellbeing Institute if you would like to contribute.

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