Europe's Urban Active Environments

What are the current European good practices in the implementation and promotion of an Urban Active Environment?

 The SPAcE (Supporting Policy and Action for Active Environments) study will share current good practice across eight different European countries focusing on the implementation and promotion of an Urban Active Environment (UActivE) to increase population (community) physical activity levels. Five of the eight SPAcE partner countries are above the EU average for physical inactivity and low levels of physical activity identified in the Eurobarometer (2010) report is a major concern raised in European policies. The EU Guidelines for Physical Activity (PA) (2008) identify a number of environments for promoting physical activity, including education settings such as schools, workplaces, health care settings, services for senior citizens and the urban environment.

SPAcE will also develop national, regional and local policy that is evidence-based, specifically with key country representatives; academics; policy makers; and practitioners to support the development of the Urban Active Environments (UActivE) Action Plans. The SPAcE study aims to produce a report that summarises the evidence available for the importance of active environments, and presents a number of case studies to illustrate the translation of this evidence into practice. Concerned with policy as well as action for active environments, the study will provide examples of strong well-constructed policies and finished infrastructure or environments. Furthermore, the case studies will show clear, measured changes in physical activity as a result of a new policy or environmental change. A selection of final case studies will be a rich mixture of interesting examples from across the regions that showcase the eight partner countries, but also demonstrates some of the problems and challenges that need to be overcome to create active environments.

The good practices shared leading to the development of the EU UActivE Summary of Evidence and Good Practice document will ensure evidence based support for the integration of active transport programmes (i.e. walking to school, cycle to work schemes etc.) into public policy across the EU.

The methodology proposed is the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory (Rogers 1962). This theory is based on the concept that over time, an idea or product gains momentum and diffuses (or spreads) through a specific population or social system. The end result of this diffusion is that people, as part of a social system, adopt a new idea, behaviour or product. As a consequence, the project will support learning from early adopters particularly through the Learning and Sharing of Good Practice Symposium and Workshop. The objective ‘to share current good (evidenced based) practice of the implementation and promotion of an Urban Active Environment (UActivE) to increase population level (community) physical activity levels’ will be addressed through symposium following the scoping exercise of evidence and good practice. The diffusion on innovation theory is evident here in the sharing of practice, experience and knowledge across partners during this event.

Stay tuned to learn more!

SPAcE is an ongoing research initiative.

SPAcE – Supporting Policy and Action for Active Environments

ObjectivesActivitiesResultsPartnersInfo & contacts
  • To share current good (evidenced based) practice of the implementation and promotion of an Urban Active Environment (UActivE) to increase population (community) physical activity levels
  • To establish working groups in five EU member states to develop an UActivE Action Plan with a focus on creating environments to support physical activity for the creation of a more physical active environment
  • To develop and embed the UActivE Action Plan into policy/practice in each designated city/town
  • To develop competencies in the assessment of value of the UActivE Action Plan through training in the use of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT)
  • Carry out scoping exercise of evidence and good practices
  • Deliver Learning and Sharing of Good Practice Symposium and Workshop in Palermo (Italy) to facilitate the sharing of practice, experience and knowledge across partners and workshop on UActivE Action Plans
  • Plan, prepare, develop and implement the UActivE Action Plans for 5 implementation sites (Greece, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain)
  • Plan, design and deliver HEAT training to patterns and designated staff from each of the implementation sites (2 per partner = 10 trained staff, plus partners)
  • EU UActivE Summary of Evidence and Good Practice document
  • Guidance document ‘How to Create and Evaluate an UActivE’ including 5 case studies from partners
  • ‘How to’ guidance on measuring value of an UActivE, including a complementary media clip
  • Coordinator: University of Gloucestershire (UK)
  • University of Oxford (UK)
  • University of Thessaly (Greece)
  • University of Zurich (Switzerland)
  • LIKES Foundation for Sport and Health Science (Finland)
  • Castilla La Mancha Regional Government of Education (Spain)
  • Tukums Municipality (Latvia)
  • Brasov Metropolitan Agency (Romania)
  • Municipality of Trikala (Greece)

Follow the project IN ACTION

Date of project: 01/01/2015 – 31/12/2017

DG of reference: DG EAC, Education and Training, Erasmus+ Sport: Support to Collaborative Partnerships

Contact: CESIE: rosina.ndukwe@cesie.org

www.activeenvironments.eu