Background/aim Urban regeneration is a growing-up tendency that aims to improve the conditions of an area. Studies have suggested an association between access to natural outdoor environments and increase of physical activity (PA). This study aims to quantify the health and economic impacts of the riverside regeneration performed in 2000 in a fluvial park in Barcelona metropolitan area.
Methods PA levels were estimated in metabolic equivalents of task (METs min/week), based on a riverside user’s survey (n=661) performed in 2015 describing user’s PA levels, duration and frequency of their visits to the Fluvial Park. A quantitative risk assessment approach was used to estimate the health impacts in mortality, morbidity and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), as proposed by the World Health Organisation. Relative risks between PA and health outcomes were selected from meta-analysis. Health outcomes included in the analysis were all cause mortality, ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke, diabetes type 2, colon and breast cancer, and dementia. An economic assessment was based on the value statistical life and the health direct cost per disease in Spain.
Results It was estimated that the riverside regeneration attracts 5.753 users (>18 years old) per day to perform different kind of PA (walk for pleasure or work, cycling and running). In those users it was estimated an annual reduction of 0.76 deaths, 6.18 cases of diseases and 10.01 DALYs due to the practise of PA along the riverbanks. It is monetized into 2.4 million € on mortality and 680.656 € on total direct health costs.
Conclusion Riverside regeneration was associated with health and economic benefits, increasing active living and promoting public health.
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