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Developing a scalable method to assess urban greenspace and associated health disparities in the global South
Health and Wellbeing
OX
Oxford

THE CHALLENGE

Many cities in developing countries are becoming denser as more people crowd into urban areas. If not managed properly, this urbanisation trend will have an adverse impact on the ecosystem and human health. In an effort to mitigate these potential negative impacts, increasing attention is being paid to the role of greenspace, such as parks, playgrounds, and woodlands. However, not all greenspace is created equal, and people’s access to greenspace and conditions and usability of greenspace may vary significantly. Furthermore, most studies on greenspace and health have been concentrated in high income countries. Because of rapid urbanisation taking place in LMICs, understanding the role of greenspace in mitigating the urbanisation pressures and associated health impact is critical for making informed decisions on future green infrastructure development.

OUR APPROACH

This study proposes to describe patterns of greenspace access and usability, and examine associated health disparities in LMICs. Building on an existing study in Cali, Colombia, this project will: 

  1. Assess greenspace availability and accessibility by using remote sensing technologies 
  2. Develop a smartphone-based audit tool to describe conditions and usability of greenspace
  3. Examine the relationship between greenspace and health-related outcomes across different socioeconomic subgroups

To conduct this research, we will leverage the CaliBRANDO research platform, an on-going quality of life and health study in Cali, Colombia, to collect initial data and use them as a basis for further data collection. We will synthesize data from remote sensing and the smartphone app and link them with the CaliBRANDO data to examine associated health disparities across different subgroups. The proposed work will contribute to developing novel tools and methods that empower citizens and policy makers to make informed decisions about green infrastructure development and help address health disparities related to greenspace access in LMICs.