Info:
London
app
citizen engagement
green spaces
mobility

An investigation into the positive impacts of tranquil spaces on health and mobility in London

Team: Tranquil City

Tranquil City investigated the positive impacts of tranquil spaces on the health and mobility of London’s citizens by using crowdsourced data, OrganiCity’s sensor network and transport data. By understanding the benefits of tranquil spaces in the urban landscape, the team were able to promote the use of these spaces for improving health and wellbeing and better creating and nurturing these tranquil spaces in the cities for the future.

The Team

Tranquil City team: Left to right – Alberto, Diana, Grant and Julie (Ben Warren is missing!)

“Tranquil City challenges our current perception of the urban environment by showcasing the city’s forgotten spaces, ones of quiet nature and beauty. By doing so we feel that we can help city dwellers slow down their pace of life and improve current wellbeing as well as encourage the design of more liveable cities in the future.”

Process

Analysing crowdsourced tranquil spaces: Word cloud showing common descriptors of tranquil spaces.

Understanding where Tranquil City fits in: Graph showing the place of the Tranquil City project when compared to other projects, legislation and key urban environmental factors.

 

GIS mapping noise across the whole of London: Summing the noise contributions from the road, rail, aircraft and industrial sources using GIS mapping techniques.

 

Colour scheme and conditional statement matrix for the Tranquil Pavement map, showing thresholds used in the GIS mapping software for noise and pollution exposure, highlighting the positive rather than the negative.

GIS mapping air pollutants across the whole of London: We mapped both NO2 and PM2.5 and created a Pollution Index that weights the two measures based on their risk to health.

Experiment Outcome

The Tranquil Pavement: The final Tranquil Pavement map, which displays both crowdsourced and open pollution datasets; celebrating urban calm and enabling people to discover pathways of low pollution exposure.

Understanding tranquillity in London: an infographic of the common characteristics and features of crowdsourced tranquil spaces in London.

Disseminating the tool: Public talk and workshop to test how people understood the Tranquil Pavement map data and to see if it was effective in enabling people to find relatively low pollution routes.

Walking through the Tranquil City: An example of a comparative route, the first being the most direct and the second being a route via tranquil spaces nearby. The second route is exposed to 19% less noise, 31% less NO2 and travels via 8 different tranquil spaces along the way.

Lessons Learned

We learned that we need to focus our efforts now on engaging people with the datasets that we have created, and we learned how to begin doing that with our workshop during the experimentation period.
We gained a lot from the experience, talking to people who couldn’t understand the data that easily, listened to ideas on how we could improve the readability of the map and who made very good suggestions for ways to spread the word about the project.

 

Tranquil City website

What Happened & What’s Next?

  • Transport for London lunchtime talk – Combined talk with the Tree Design Action group on how tranquillity and green infrastructure can help promote walking and cycling and reduce our exposure to pollution in London.
  • Green Sky Thinking 2017 – Walking through the Tranquil City walking tours
  • Tranquil City Exeter – Crowdsourcing urban calm in Exeter with Exeter City Futures
  • Healthy City Design – International conference on healthy urban design

 

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