Informal Appropriation of Public Space and Urban Infrastructure for Leisure Physical Activity in Lagos and Yaoundé

A project looking to inform urban infrastructure development strategies for safe, equitable leisure physical activity in public spaces.

Africa is experiencing rapid urbanisation alongside poorly governed infrastructure development and increasing unhealthy living. These factors contribute to an increased burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and premature mortality, disproportionately affecting the economically active and jeopardising development. The built environment is a critical determinant of physical activity, a risk factor for NCDs, but due to unmet need for physical activity infrastructure, public spaces in African cities are increasingly appropriated for leisure physical activity (LPA) under hazardous conditions such as toxic air pollution, another NCD risk-factor. As a result of a lack of surveillance data, the health risks of LPA in public spaces are unknown. This project focuses on Lagos and Yaoundé to investigate patterns and experiences of appropriated public space LPA, as well as the injury risk and air pollution exposures which may negate LPA benefits. Results will inform urban infrastructure development strategies for safe, equitable LPA in public spaces.

Research Team: Dr Tolu Oni, University of Cambridge; Dr Felix Assah, University of Yaoundé; Dr Evangelia Chatzidiakou, University of Cambridge; Professor Roderic Jones, University of Cambridge; Professor Taibat Lawanson, University of Lagos; Dr Ebelechukwu Mogo, University of Cambridge; Dr Olalekan Popoola, University of Cambridge

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