Work Package 1: Model consolidation and validation. (Months 1-5)
This work package will involve the appointment, training and placement of 2 research assistants to be based in Belfast and Derry City Councils respectively, during which time they will consolidate and extend the model developed for East Belfast so that it has operational coverage of the entire 2 local authority areas. The model will be subject to validation using random checking of critical elements, such as land use and footpath coverage. During this time the research assistants will interact with staff of local authorities and other statutory agencies to begin to build up an understanding of the extent, form and availability of spatial data and the information needs of different partners, including potential links to regional strategies on obesity, active travel and physical activity.
Work Package 2: Project integration and sustainability (Months 6-10).
Work package 2 will involve a process of integrating the walkability models and other elements of spatial analysis into the existing physical activity-related programmes of the partner organisations to improve their effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy. This stage of the project will also involve developing the capacity of project partners to ensure the sustainability of the place-specific walkability models.
Work Package 3: Knowledge dissemination and engagement with wider practitioner communities (Months 11-12)
Work Package 3 will involve an evaluation and a report of the benefits, costs and opportunities arising from the operational deployment of walkability models and their integration with other central and local government responsibilities and initiatives. On the basis of this evaluation, a series of workshops will be run in Northern Ireland and the UK. Finally, the findings of the project will be presented at three conferences to disseminate the findings to different academic and practitioner communities.