The health and wellbeing benefits of green space have been widely researched. Yet, the benefits of urban blue spaces are less-known.
As with green space, the quality of a natural environment plays a role in determining any health benefits or risks of a given blue space. Comparable quality assessments, including about the access and use of spaces, are needed to inform public health-related policies and to inform environmental design, management and protection.
This research paper, published in the Urban Forestry and Urban Greening Journal, provides a review of existing tools and the novel BlueHealth Environmental Assessment Tool (BEAT) that has been specifically designed to enable these comparable assessments.
About the BlueHealth Environmental Assessment Tool (BEAT)
The BEAT is designed for landscape, planning and environmental management professionals, and can also be used by community groups. It’s free to access online and provides a simple, practical and comprehensive assessment of a blue space before and after design interventions.
The Tool’s questionnaire allows stakeholders to assess qualitative and quantitative measures using their experience and judgment. The questionnaire’s guidance is informed by published evidence in the field and evaluations of 28 existing tools used in urban and transport planning, landscape architecture and management, urban design and public health.
Following an assessment, the user is provided with graphically presented results that can build an evidence-base for planning urban blue spaces as a public health resource.