Move the Neighbourhood: Study design of a community-based participatory public open space intervention in a Danish deprived neighbourhood to promote active living
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.
Keywords: Study design, Deprived neighbourhood, Active living, Urban installations, Co-design, Children, Seniors,
SOPARC, Accelerometer, GPS