Results: The mean ages of intervention samples were 50.3 (SD 18.9) years at baseline (n = 1037) and 51.7 (SD 19.1) years at follow-up (n = 968). Post-intervention, 65% (adjusted OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.00) of residents who lived closest to the greenway (i.e., ≤400 m) and 60% (adjusted OR, 0.64 95% CI 0.41 to 0.99) who lived furthest from the greenway (i.e.,≥1200 m) met the physical activity guidelines - 68% of the intervention sample met the physical activity guidelines before the intervention. Residents in the most deprived quintiles had a similar reduction in physical activity behaviour as residents in less deprived quintiles. Quality of life at follow-up compared to baseline declined and this decline was significantly less than in the control area (adjusted differences in mean EQ5D: -11.0 (95% CI − 14.5 to − 7.4); − 30.5 (95% CI − 37.9 to − 23.2). Significant change in mental wellbeing was not observed despite improvements in some indicators of social capital. Positive perceptions of the local environment in relation to its attractiveness, traffic and safety increased. Conclusions: Our findings illustrate the major challenge of evaluating complex urban interventions and the difficulty of capturing and measuring the network of potential variables that influence or hinder meaningful outcomes. The results indicate at this stage no intervention effect for improvements in population-level physical activity behaviour or mental wellbeing. However, they show some modest improvements for secondary outcomes including positive perceptions of the environment and social capital constructs. The public health impact of urban greenways may take a longer period of time to be realised and there is a need to improve evaluation methodology that captures the complex systems nature of urban regeneration.
|Journal||International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Early online date||30 Oct 2021|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2021|
- Urban green space
- Natural experiment
- Physical activity
- Mental wellbeing