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An observation tool to assist with the assessment of urban residential environments

Dunstan, Frank David John ORCID:, Weaver, Nichola, Araya, Ricardo, Bell, Truda Susan, Lannon, Simon Charles ORCID:, Lewis, Glyn, Patterson, Joanne Louise ORCID:, Thomas, Hollie Victoria, Jones, Phillip John ORCID: and Palmer, Stephen Royston 2005. An observation tool to assist with the assessment of urban residential environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology 25 (3) , pp. 293-305. 10.1016/j.jenvp.2005.07.004

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The effect of the built environment on the quality of life of its residents is of growing interest. To investigate this properly, a method for measuring the physical condition of residential areas is required and this paper describes the development of such a tool. The Residential Environment Assessment Tool (REAT) is designed as a survey instrument, to be completed by an independent observer, to produce a contextual measure of a neighbourhood, reflecting both physical aspects and also the extent to which residents have established territoriality over the area. The tool is based on 28 items which are aggregated to give a total score, ranging between 0 and 68, and subdivided into 5 different domains to reflect different aspects of the environment. Inter-observer comparisons show that the tool is reliable, with kappa coefficients for most of the item scores exceeding 0.9. To investigate its validity the results were compared with responses to a detailed survey of individual residents and significant positive associations were found between most relevant items. The tool is being used for studies involving common mental disorders in the community and should be valuable for local authorities in targeting interventions to improve the physical condition of their area.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0272-4944
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 09:45

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