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In the evening, I don’t walk in the park”: Perceived design qualities, safety and neighbourhood walkability

Rahm, Johan LU ; Sternudd, Catharina LU and Johansson, Maria LU (2019) International Conference on Environmental Psychology (ICEP) 2019 p.187-187
Abstract
Introduction. Walking as a means of transportation is central in sustainable urban design. Little focus has, however, been placed on the influence of micro-level environmental features, such as vegetation and street lighting, on perceived safety and walking.

Method. This study applied a non-explicit approach to explore the impact of greenery and outdoor lighting on neighborhood walkability. Participants (n = 106) from three neighborhoods in Malmö, Sweden, took part in focus group discussions concerning neighborhood qualities related to walking.
Results. A thematic analysis revealed four inter-related themes relevant for perceived safety after dark: avoidance, entrapment, presence of others and prospect. The quality of greenery... (More)
Introduction. Walking as a means of transportation is central in sustainable urban design. Little focus has, however, been placed on the influence of micro-level environmental features, such as vegetation and street lighting, on perceived safety and walking.

Method. This study applied a non-explicit approach to explore the impact of greenery and outdoor lighting on neighborhood walkability. Participants (n = 106) from three neighborhoods in Malmö, Sweden, took part in focus group discussions concerning neighborhood qualities related to walking.
Results. A thematic analysis revealed four inter-related themes relevant for perceived safety after dark: avoidance, entrapment, presence of others and prospect. The quality of greenery and street lighting impacted people’s route choices and forced some participants to make detours. In line with the prospect-refuge theory, entrapment, prospect and the presence of others influenced perceived safety, which in turn impacted whether the participants walked or not.

Discussion. The results indicate that urban greenery and street lighting need to be considered jointly, since their interaction influences perceived safety and impacts the walkability of the neighbourhood. Providing good overview over the nearby surroundings, by sufficient lighting and/or well-kept greenery, may reduce perceived entrapment, but also directly improve perceived safety and encourage pedestrian use. (Less)
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organization
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type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
pages
187 - 187
conference name
International Conference on Environmental Psychology (ICEP) 2019
conference location
Plymouth, United Kingdom
conference dates
2019-09-04 - 2019-09-06
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
863d482d-aa26-4a64-9993-f92d2ecf0494
alternative location
https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/15/15210/Conference_handbook_FINAL.pdf
date added to LUP
2019-09-09 15:16:47
date last changed
2019-11-22 09:20:18
@misc{863d482d-aa26-4a64-9993-f92d2ecf0494,
  abstract     = {Introduction. Walking as a means of transportation is central in sustainable urban design. Little focus has, however, been placed on the influence of micro-level environmental features, such as vegetation and street lighting, on perceived safety and walking.<br/><br/>Method. This study applied a non-explicit approach to explore the impact of greenery and outdoor lighting on neighborhood walkability. Participants (n = 106) from three neighborhoods in Malmö, Sweden, took part in focus group discussions concerning neighborhood qualities related to walking.<br/>Results. A thematic analysis revealed four inter-related themes relevant for perceived safety after dark: avoidance, entrapment, presence of others and prospect. The quality of greenery and street lighting impacted people’s route choices and forced some participants to make detours. In line with the prospect-refuge theory, entrapment, prospect and the presence of others influenced perceived safety, which in turn impacted whether the participants walked or not.<br/><br/>Discussion. The results indicate that urban greenery and street lighting need to be considered jointly, since their interaction influences perceived safety and impacts the walkability of the neighbourhood. Providing good overview over the nearby surroundings, by sufficient lighting and/or well-kept greenery, may reduce perceived entrapment, but also directly improve perceived safety and encourage pedestrian use.},
  author       = {Rahm, Johan and Sternudd, Catharina and Johansson, Maria},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  pages        = {187--187},
  title        = {In the evening, I don’t walk in the park”: Perceived design qualities, safety and neighbourhood walkability},
  url          = {https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/15/15210/Conference_handbook_FINAL.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}