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Public Health in Post-War Neighborhoods

Public health in postwar housing estates: case-study Paddepoel

ZonMw finances a research project, ‘Urban Design for Improving Public Health in Groningen (UDIHiG) that analyzes the impact of urban interventions on health promoting lifestyles of the inhabitants. The neighborhood of Paddepoel in Groningen has been selected as a case-study. Paddepoel is a clearly defined spatial entity that is characteristic for this type of neighborhood; since dozens of which were built in the reconstruction period between 1945 and 1970, the results of this project can be applied in most Dutch cities as well as in cities abroad. Decisive for the efficiency of the proposed interventions is whether or not they result in healthier behavior of the inhabitants. Methods to assess their experiences and expectations are therefore fundamental in this project. Part of this methods is the use ‘Virtual Reality’ as a tool that makes the proposed urban interventions almost tangible, and much easier to understand that two-dimensional plans and maps. Moreover, Virtual Reality allows us to analyze even very radical interventions, which would take a very long time to actually realize. [link Marijke abstract]