The Appia Antica regional park is a major hub for recreational activities in Rome, Italy.
It is home to both natural and artificial aquatic ecosystems, including streams, springs and wetlands. The park serves as a habitat corridor for numerous animal species, as a reservoir of biodiversity, and also preserves part of the historical Roman countryside.
In this project, researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità used different communication activities (e.g. workshops, a brochure, and posters at an information point in the park) to improve awareness of visitors and other stakeholders regarding the positive effects of blue space on human health and wellbeing.
The stakeholders that were engaged in this research were interviewed before and after the intervention using a questionnaire, the BlueHealth Community-Level Survey (BCLS).
The BCLS was administered on users of the park as well as local people who do not visit it. The data were collected between May 2017 and November 2017.
In 2018, the beta version of the BlueHealth Decision Support Tool (DST) was piloted for the first time, using the Appia Antica Park as a case study. The researchers made a detailed evaluation of how appropriate the DST was for the local context, how easy it was to understand and apply, and how interpretable they found the results. This information was fed back to the developers of the DST so that improvements could be incorporated into the completed tool.
Image courtesy of Stefania Marcheggiani