The Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors research project in the UK has discovered many of the factors that encourage people, especially older people, to get out and about and keep doing so. The project is now complete, but they have kept a legacy website with lots of information and resources and a short video. Unfortunately the video isn’t captioned. They continue to maintain a Twitter account for the continuation of the work through the networks that were developed during the project. While this project focused on older people, a well designed environment is good for everyone.
You can download a quick overview of their work in a PDF file (1.6MB). Once again, this research raises the importance of footpaths – having footpaths and having them maintained to avoid trip hazards. Below is an except from the Key Messages in the Overview:
“The desire to get out and about does not diminish in older age, nor does the variety of activities people like to do outdoors. If older people live in an environment that makes it easy and enjoyable for them to go outdoors, they are more likely to be physically active and satisfied with life and twice as likely to achieve the recommended levels of healthy walking. The same is true for those who live within ten minutes’ walk of a park. The pedestrian experience is vitally important to older people, who are most often on foot when out and about. For the many who find it difficult to get around, it is often due to the poor design, provision, installation or upkeep of neighbourhood features, especially footways.”