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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The impact of built environment restructuring on adult health: A scoping review from a behavioural science perspective.

Wilkie, Stephanie, Townshend, Tim, Thompson, Emine and Ling, Jonathan (2018) The impact of built environment restructuring on adult health: A scoping review from a behavioural science perspective. In: AMPS: Architecture Media Politics & Society Health: The Design, Planning, and Politics of How and Where We Live, 24-26 Jan 2018, Bristol.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Built environment restructuring and urban planning are approaches to improve public health by providing opportunity for healthy behaviours. Another approach targets individual behaviour within places using behavioural science. How well these approaches intersect is unclear but recent reports suggest potential for integration. We reviewed evidence from environmental restructuring projects and their impact on health outcomes was synthesized using behavioural science frameworks: the COM-B model of behavior change (Michie, van Stralen, & West, 2011) and the Theory Domains Framework (Cane, O’Connor, & Michie, 2012). Established scoping review methods were implemented. Findings were based on 23 studies reporting both built environment restructuring and measured behavior change related health outcomes in adults identified in public health, architecture, psychology, and urban design database searches. Projects targeted active travel (43.5%), urban green facilities development (34.8%), or New Urbanist neighbourhoods (21.7%). Evidence supported positive impacts on physical activity, as well as some impact on stress, general health, quality of life, and social isolation. Explicit mention of underpinning theory was lacking generally. Reported outcomes were highly relevant to drivers of health behaviour (COM-B) and domains of behaviour change (TDF), including social/physical opportunity, automatic/reflective motivation, and physical/psychological capabilities through beliefs, emotion, environmental context/resources, intention, skills, and social influences. Few reports included outcomes other than physical activity; we recommend use of more varied outcomes based on national/international indicators to facilitate comparison. There was limited exploration of barriers and nuisances that arose from projects, suggesting this as an area of future enquiry. One pressing recommendation is that relevant theory guiding design should be clear; cross-disciplinary teams should consider how to integrate these over the varying layers of influence on health behavior.

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Depositing User: Stephanie Wilkie


Item ID: 9293
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Stephanie Wilkie: ORCID iD
ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 12:19
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 10:09


Author: Stephanie Wilkie ORCID iD
Author: Jonathan Ling ORCID iD
Author: Tim Townshend
Author: Emine Thompson

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology


Sciences > Health Sciences

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