Green spaces to promote physical activity


A common feature of all green spaces is the presence of natural elements which, on the one hand, give a specific character and, on the other hand, provide a wide variety of functions which have an important impact on the quality of environment and public health. Among the most important functions are the influence of the on the overall quality of the living environment (cleanliness of air, water, soil, favourable micro- and mesoclimatic conditions, acoustic environment, ambience, visual quality, etc.), the opportunities for contact with nature, socialising and networking, and the space for various forms of passive and active outdoor activities. The aspect of potentials focuses on a critical review of different studies as well as spatial situations to understand the relationship between people's needs and the possibilities to meet them in the context of green spaces, and on a review of the importance of green spaces for promoting physical activity and their crucial characteristics.


Understanding the relationship between different types of physical activity and the spatial characteristics needed to support and/or encourage them is crucial to define an appropriate typology of green spaces in terms of promoting different types of physical activity. This part of research work will examine the possibilities for the typology of green spaces through a process of analysis of the activities or types of physical activity themselves, their spatial requirements, the users or target groups undertaking the activity, and the temporal components (activity intervals, specificities in relation to season, weather conditions, etc.). Guidelines will be identified for the design of a typology of green spaces for physical activity according to the situation in Slovenian settlements - using the pilot case as an example.

Foto: © IN.KA.BI., 2010.


From the view of the user, it is essential to have an appropriate spatial situation that ensures the provision of good quality and adequately located green spaces, which enables the use of these spaces. In this context, the project will focus on identifying and justifying the necessary characteristics and quality aspects of the design and key elements of green spaces to promote physical activity. The focus will be on spatial characteristics such as accessibility, safety, connectivity, presence of natural elements, environmental quality, amenities, maintenance, etc.


Comprehensive and inclusive green space planning involves addressing all aspects of green spaces - social, ecological, morphological and economic - which each have their own impact on the quality of the living environment. The green space planning part will address different options and contemporary approaches to integrated green space planning, as well as trends and situation in Slovenia. It will focus on strategic green space planning, such as the establishment of a green space system, and also provide importantce of the aspects related to green space planning at the spatial implementation level. A pilot case will be used to test the usefulness and relevance of the guidelines and to demonstrate how they can be applied in practice. 

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