In response the community priority of improving the age-friendliness of London parks, the Age Friendly London Network – Outdoor Spaces & Buildings working group partnered with students at Western University to develop an Age Friendly Parks Checklist. The purpose of the checklist is to provide a standardized measurement of the amenities and conditions of London parks so that the working group could make informed recommendations on park upgrades and accessibility improvements. The students reviewed peer-reviewed and grey literature as well as examined Age Friendly Parks Checklists from other communities (most notably the Philadelphia Age Friendly Parks checklist) in order to identify the barriers and facilitators to park usage among older adults. Under the guidance of the Outdoor Spaces & Buildings working group members, the students also conducted surveys with 89 older adults in London to gather information on park usage frequency and habits. The students and the working group members used this information to create an Age Friendly Parks checklist (adapted from the Philadelphia Age Friendly Parks Checklist, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, 2011) with criteria that was specific and appropriate to London parks. The Western University students piloted the checklist by assessing 7 parks in the City. Then the Outdoor Spaces & Buildings working group further refined the checklist and, with the help of city staff, have assessed a total of 377 parks in London to date.The checklist assesses the essential features that make a park accessible, welcoming, safe, and pleasant for an older adult or a person of any age to visit. These features include walkability, seating, access to washrooms, availability of water fountains, park amenities (e.g. presence of picnic tables, walking loops, community garden plots, etc.), signage, safety, and access to the park (i.e. presence of designated accessible parking spaces and pick up/drop off areas, proximity of bus routes, bike racks etc.).
Main target group: Older people in general
Sector(s): Urban development
Desired outcome for older people:
Other Issues: Reducing barriers to using outdoor spaces, encouraging physical activity and recreation among older adults
Name: Dellamora, Michelle
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgPreferred language(s): English