Increasing translation of research evidence for optimal park design: a qualitative study with stakeholders

The design of parks is critical to ensure they are appealing, meet the needs of the community and optimise opportunities for physical activity, relaxation, exposure to nature and social interaction. Understanding how organisations use evidence for decision-making regarding park design is critical for reducing the research-practice-policy gap and ensuring evidence based strategies inform park design to support healthy active living. This study explored stakeholder perceptions regarding factors that influence the use of research evidence to inform park planning and design, and potential strategies to enhance effective translation of research evidence for optimal park design into policy and practice.
Developing partnerships between researchers and park developers and providing evidence in a more accessible format such as short summaries/reports, infographics, presentations, research updates and dedicated research databases emerged as key enablers. The main research gaps identified included research into park features to encourage visitation and cost-benefit analyses studies.
This research is a first step to better understand strategies to promote more effective uptake and use of evidence to inform park planning. Researchers need to develop multi-sectoral collaborations and generate policy-relevant research in a readily accessible, timely and user-friendly format to ensure evidence is used to enhance park design and ultimately public health.


Journal article


Other authors: Emily Denniss, Kylie Ball, Harriet Koorts, Benedicte Deforche, Anna Timperio


International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity: 2020