Move the Neighbourhood: Study design of a community-based participatory public open space intervention in a Danish deprived neighbourhood to promote active living

Charlotte Skau Pawlowski, Laura Winge, Sidse Carroll, Tanja Bettina Schmidt, Anne Margrethe Wagner, Kamilla Pernille Johansen Nørtoft, Bettina Lamm, René Kural, Jasper Schipperijn, Jens Troelsen

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BACKGROUND: A limited amount of research has examined the effect of changing public open spaces on active living. This paper will present the study protocol of a community-based intervention study co-designed in an interdisciplinary collaboration with community members to develop urban installations highly tailored to promote active living among children (10-13-years-old) and seniors (>60-years-old) in a deprived neighbourhood in Copenhagen.

METHODS: The study builds on a quasi-experimental study design with two sub-studies: 1) a children study and 2) a senior study. The interventions will be developed, designed and implemented in collaboration with local children and seniors, respectively, using different co-design tools and methods. We will evaluate the effect of the interventions on children's and senior's use of the new-built urban installations using accelerometers in combination with GPS as well as systematic observation using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). A process evaluation with focus groups consisting of the various stakeholders in the two sub-studies will be used to gain knowledge of the intervention processes.

DISCUSSION: The paper presents new approaches in the field of public open space interventions through interdisciplinary collaboration, participatory co-design approach and combination of measurements. Using both effect and process evaluations the study will provide unique insights in the role and importance of the interdisciplinary collaboration, participatory processes, and tailoring changes in public open space to local needs and wishes. These results can be used to guide urban renewal projects in deprived neighbourhoods in the future.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered with study ID ISRCTN50036837 . Date of registration: 16 December 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number481
JournalBMC Public Health
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 19. May 2017


  • Accelerometer
  • Active living
  • Children
  • Co-design
  • Deprived neighbourhood
  • GPS
  • Seniors
  • Study design
  • Urban installations
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Focus Groups
  • Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Health Promotion/organization & administration
  • Community Participation/methods
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Denmark
  • Environment Design
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Research Design


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