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A common vector for children to be impacted by heat and air quality are playgrounds and play spaces at schools and parks. This Healthy Urban Environments pilot project will provide novel insights on the impacts of playspace design on children’s exposure to heat and air pollution, 2) the impacts of this exposure on health and well-being, and 3) outdoor space usage for learning and physical activity.

Data will be collected before and after a playspace intervention at Paideia Academy Charter School in South Phoenix. These data will focus on better understanding microclimate exposures, physical activity, health outcomes, and general well-being associated with the redesigned playspace. Further, a community-based participatory research approach will be used to engage teachers, students, parents, and school heath workers in this work to better understand children’s health and quality of life.

Results from this work will be translated and shared to support better childhood health outcomes through more adaptive and safe designs for play spaces. Ultimately, better designed play spaces can extend the time range the time range of safe physical activity and lessen heat, sun, and pollution-related illnesses.




Healthy Urban Environments Initiative


April 2019 — Ongoing