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Do features of public open spaces vary according to neighbourhood socio-economic status?

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2008, 00:00 authored by David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, B Giles-Corti, Kylie BallKylie Ball, Clare Hume, Rebecca Roberts, Nick Andrianopoulos, Jo SalmonJo Salmon
This study examined the relations between neighbourhood socio-economic status and features of public open spaces (POS) hypothesised to influence children's physical activity. Data were from the first follow-up of the Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods (CLAN) Study, which involved 540 families of 5–6 and 10–12-year-old children in Melbourne, Australia. The Socio-Economic Index for Areas Index (SEIFA) of Relative Socio-economic Advantage/Disadvantage was used to assign a socioeconomic index score to each child's neighbourhood, based on postcode. Participant addresses were geocoded using a Geographic Information System. The Open Space 2002 spatial data set was used to identify all POS within an 800 m radius of each participant's home. The features of each of these POS (1497) were audited. Variability of POS features was examined across quintiles of neighbourhood SEIFA. Compared with POS in lower socioeconomic neighbourhoods, POS in the highest socioeconomic neighbourhoods had more amenities (e.g. picnic tables and drink fountains) and were more likely to have trees that provided shade, a water feature (e.g. pond, creek), walking and cycling paths, lighting, signage regarding dog access and signage restricting other activities. There were no differences across neighbourhoods in the number of playgrounds or the number of recreation facilities (e.g. number of sports catered for on courts and ovals, the presence of other facilities such as athletics tracks, skateboarding facility and swimming pool). This study suggests that POS in high socioeconomic neighbourhoods possess more features that are likely to promote physical activity amongst children.

History

Journal

Health & place

Volume

14

Issue

4

Pagination

889 - 893

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

1353-8292

eISSN

1873-2054

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Elsevier