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Project overview

Thesis title: Children's recreational use of urban green spaces: Impact of household deprivation and urban green space quality

Masters Student: Nadia Freeman

Supervisors: Dr Paul Blaschke, Dr Hera Cook

Advisors: Dr James Stanley, Amber Pearson

Funding: This research is conducted as part of the Health Research Council funded Kids'Cam project.

More information: Email


Aims: To find out whether children from different socioeconomic groups have access to the same quality of useable green space and if there is a correlation between the quality of useable green space and the time children spend in them.

Background: Access to useable green space has long been debated as a public health issue. As while some studies have found an association between access useable green space an increased levels of physical activity, a number of studies have found there to be none.

However, two variables most studies have not take into consideration, have been the quality of the green spaces being accessed or the socioeconomic status (SES) of the participants. Both quality of green space and socioeconomic status have been found by research to affect the use and type of activity conducted in a green space. Furthermore, some studies suggest that the health benefits of access to usable green spaces are more prominent amongst those from low socioeconomic groups.

Data sources: The project will be based primarily on analysis of University of Otago KidsCam project GPS and image data. Before July 2015, 96 hours worth of GPS data and photographs (taken every five seconds) will be collected from 214 year, Year 8 student volunteers across the Wellington region. Demographic information on participants including school decile, gender, date of birth, ethnicity, NZI Dep, height, weight will also be collected.

The time each of the participants spends in usable green space will be measured.

- The quality of the green spaces will be rated according to the New Zealand Quality of Open Spaces Tool. This tool measures the quality of a space based on activities it can be used for, environmental quality, amenities, and safety. Additional quality features of the space outside of this tool will also be noted and included in the rating.

Analysis: The quality rating of the green spaces accessed by participants will be compared with the time participants spend in them and their NZI Deprivation. The time spent in all useable green spaces altogether will also be compared with participants NZI Deprivation.

Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington South 6242
New Zealand
Tel +64 4 385 5541 ext 6040
Fax +64 4 389 5319

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