In our latest GeoVation Challenge, we are calling for ideas that encourage active lifestyles, particularly in open spaces, such as parks.
Nesta is an innovation charity that runs projects which help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Nesta, in partnership with The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund, are currently running a Rethinking Parks Programme looking for bold and innovative ways to use, manage and make the most of the UK’s public parks.
In our guest blog today Lydia Ragoonanan, Rethinking Parks programme manager explains why we need better intelligence to keep our parks going.
If we measure what matters, then it has to be more than just waistlines if we are to encourage more active lifestyles in Britain. Whilst we have a wealth of data about the benefits of physical activity, our data about how and where people access outdoor spaces is less healthy. Ordnance Survey report that a critical factor to getting out and getting active is having close, easy and pleasant access to outside space.
Both the Rethinking Parks programme and GeoVation’s latest Active Lifestyles challenge aim to address the issue, albeit from different angles.
GeoVation’s latest challenge calls to action geographers, data crunchers, fitness fanatics and others to explore how we can encourage more active lifestyles in the UK using open data.
But much of our open space is under threat. With public sector funding for parks set to fall by 60 per cent or more over the next decade our public parks are at risk. In the 1970s and 1980s many of our public parks were perceived as wastelands, unkempt and unsafe – and certainly not enticing enough to walk, run, cycle, practice thai chi or play a casual game of football in.