Making post-war urban neighbourhoods healthier: involving residents’ perspectives in selecting locations for health promoting urban redesign interventions

Sijmen A. Reijneveld*, Marijke Koene, Jolanda Tuinstra, Stefan C. van der Spek, Manda Broekhuis, Cor Wagenaar

*Corresponding author for this work

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Post-war urban neighbourhoods in industrialised countries have been shown to negatively affect the lifestyles of their residents due to their design. This study aims at developing an empirical procedure to select locations to be redesigned and the determinants of health at stake in these locations, with involvement of residents’ perspectives as core issue. We addressed a post-war neighbourhood in the city of Groningen, the Netherlands. We collected data from three perspectives: spatial analyses by urban designers, interviews with experts in local health and social care (n = 11) and online questionnaires filled in by residents (n = 99). These data provided input for the selection of locations to be redesigned by a multidisciplinary team (n = 16). The procedure yielded the following types of locations (and determinants): An area adjacent to a central shopping mall (social interaction, traffic safety, physical activity), a park (experiencing green, physical activity, social safety, social interaction) and a block of low-rise row houses around a public square (social safety, social interaction, traffic safety). We developed an empirical procedure for the selection of locations and determinants to be addressed, with addressing residents’ perspectives. This procedure is potentially applicable to similar neighbourhoods internationally.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCities and Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15-May-2023


  • intervention
  • Netherlands
  • post-war neighbourhood
  • urban design
  • Urban health

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