Streets for Transport and Health: The Opportunity of a Temporary Road Closure for Neighbourhood Connection, Activity and Wellbeing

The impact of the built environment on health and wellbeing has been well demonstrated. One aspect of this is the impact of traffic on the quality of neighborhoods, communities and wellbeing. In this case study the authors use the temporary closure of a street to through traffic in Christchurch, New Zealand, as an opportunity to explore whether the street was used differently, to record what residents observed, and ultimately to assess the potential impact of a temporary street closure on community wellbeing. This was done through semi-structured interviews of residents who lived on the street. The authors found that when closed to through traffic, the street was used as a place of recreation, residents reported they got to know their neighbors better, walking on the street was more pleasant, and residents felt happier letting children play on the street. Overwhelmingly residents who participated in this study supported a permanent closure of the street to through traffic stating they believed the community and wellbeing benefits far outweighed the inconvenience. Residents value the community benefits restricting vehicle access to streets can afford, and these outweigh than the disbenefits of any transport inconvenience this may come with. Temporary road closures can be an opportunity for local councils to develop community activities and try out new temporary streetscapes with a view to making them permanent if successful.


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  • Accession Number: 01746270
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 9 2020 3:13PM