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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tim Townshend
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Built environment restructuring can improve public health through increased opportunity for healthy behaviors. Behavioral science targets individual health behaviors within place, suggesting the potential to integrate these approaches. This scoping review was one of the first to summarise the impact built environment restructuring has on health outcomes and behaviors and integrate these findings with the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behavior model and Theoretical Domains Framework of behavior change. Potential studies were identified from 12 academic databases in urban design, psychology, and public health. Search parameters involved 50 environment types, for example green space or healthy cities, combined with both an intervention (e.g. green infrastructure, active transport) and a measurable health outcome (e.g. exercise, wellbeing). Searches were limited to North America, Europe, or Australia/New Zealand. Of 536 potential studies reviewed against defined inclusion/exclusion criteria, 23 contributed to the findings. Evidence supported the positive influence of restructuring on varied health outcomes, many of which were drivers and domains of health behavior. Most studies indicated a clear contribution to increased physical activity. Recommendations include the need for explicit communication of theories guiding restructuring project design, consideration of health outcomes beyond physical activity, and better investigation of unanticipated barriers to health behaviors arising from built environment restructuring projects.
Author(s): Wilkie S, Townshend T, Thompson E, Ling J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Cities and Health
Online publication date: 20/02/2019
Acceptance date: 16/01/2019
Date deposited: 17/01/2019
ISSN (print): 2374-8834
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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