Our focus is how changes to the built and natural environments – which make them safer, less polluted and more attractive – can support healthier lifestyles for children, young people and families by encouraging more physical activity and by connecting people to each other and what’s happening in their community.
Our planned research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen dramatic changes to the way people use transport, streets and parks in both Bradford and Tower Hamlets – including the many street space changes made to accommodate more walking and cycling.
We are evaluating the Healthy School Streets programme in Bradford and Tower Hamlets. The programme aims to encourage physical activity and reduce pollution by creating more greenery, and support learning and development. It works with children and parents, schools, local residents and businesses to make changes that could include restricting traffic at the start and end of school days, widening pavements and making road crossings safer, tree planting, green walls to filter air, and gardens to learn more about nature.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme aims to change the built environment to bring more activities to streets and encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. Tower Hamlets Council has funding to introduce Liveable Streets to 60 per cent of its area over the next 4 years.
We are exploring the impact of regenerating a large park in Bradford on families living in nearby disadvantaged neighbourhoods supported by the EU project Life Critical. We will explore the potential of parks to improve citizens’ quality of life and encourage their participation in implementing measures in the park that can help reduce the impact of climate change.
We have developed the Health And Place Intervention Evaluation (HAPIE) tool which uses standard measure of wellbeing, physical activity, play and street perception surveys combined with measures of housing such as overcrowding. This provides information about how the quality of indoor and outdoor space affects family health and wellbeing.
We are looking at housing quality data in the Families in Tower Hamlets: impacts of Covid-19 study led by the healthy livelihoods team. This will include gaining a qualitative understanding how the physical characteristics of living space has affected families during lockdown.
Want to find out more about Act Early and our work? Email us to ask questions, find out about volunteering or share your ideas.