Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Green Walks


Kirk Woolford, PhD | Anglia Ruskin University
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2022

During and post Covid-19 lockdowns, the importance of access to green spaces for mental health has been highlighted. However, in the UK, we have deeply entrenched disparities in access to green spaces. A majority of people over 64 and/or from non-white backgrounds do not believe they have greenspaces within easy walking distance.

Green Walks will aid the UK population in finding greenspaces within easy walking distance of their homes. The project will also help provide incentives to get out of the house by encouraging users to engage with changing natural elements of these greenspaces (such plants coming into bloom or seasonal bird migrations).

The project will generate a green view database, using AI tools to extract images from existing mapping platforms to calculate the amount of visible green space along roads. The team will co-design a web-based AI search interface and mobile app to generate personalised walks to and from home, through areas with the highest green views.

The app will use spatialised audio to guide the user along the walk, as well as providing social accompaniment, and quick access to help and/or companionship. It will monitor the user’s progress through GPS, motion data, and quick self-reported mental health cues.

The project contains a citizen-science element allowing stakeholders to contribute data from their walks, add areas of interest, areas to be avoided, and community information
about use of the green spaces.

To learn more about this proposal, email

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