Behaviours and Neighbourhood Design (BAND): An investigation of walking as a social practice

Project details

Project title: Behaviours and Neighbourhood Design (BAND): An investigation of walking as a social practice

Project duration: December 2011 - June 2012

Funded by: EPSRC under the Living with Environmental Change Programme

Project leader: Professor Katie Williams

Other researchers: Professor Alan Tapp, Dr Danielle Sinnett, Sarah Leonard, Dr Fiona Spotswood, with support from Louise King

Project summary

Project aims

This project was funded through the HEAT@UWE Programme (Bridging the Gaps between Health, Environment and Technology). It seeks to understand walking as a social practice in order to inform neighbourhood design and social marketing practice. It brings together researchers from the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments and the Bristol Centre for Social Marketing to undertake qualitative research in a newly developed housing area in Oxford.

We are seeking to:

  • Gain a better understanding of how and why urban design and social marketing support or enable sustainable behaviours, which we will use to contribute to both theoretical and practical debates.
  • Test a number of intervention ideas that have been concept-tested in a small pilot study and might be appropriate to affect behaviour change in different groups (and that can form the basis for one or more larger research bids). 
  • Develop theoretical understanding of how ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ measures can combine to influence behaviour change.

The research is being conducted in the ‘Waterways’ development in Oxford. This is a relatively new mixed residential development near the city centre.

Project outputs

The research is ongoing, so we do not have results as yet. Although we have already learnt much about different disciplinary approaches to the same research problem. We hope to use the results to be able to support more walking behaviours in new developments by understanding how environmental and other factors shape the practice of walking.

Further information about the project, please contact Professor Katie Williams.

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