Paul Brindley was an invited speaker at GEOMED 2017 – the 10th international, interdisciplinary conference on spatial statistics, geographical epidemiology and geographical aspects of public health. There were over 220 delegates from 26 countries spanning 6 continents – a truly international conference!
Paul’s talk was titled “Is more always better? Exploring indicators of quality of green space in relation to self-reported general health”. The work investigated two separate issues: (1) could data from social media (Flickr photographs and tweets from Twitter) be used as proxies for green space quality (avoiding costly on-site surveys) and (2) is green space quality (measured using both on-site surveys from Sheffield City Council and using data from social media) associated with self-reported general health. Findings demonstrated that social media were not good proxies for on-site surveys and correlated poorly with self-reported general health. The work, did however, demonstrate that green space quality (in terms of cleanliness, measured by on-site surveys from the Council) was associated with self-reported general health. Areas with green spaces that were more clean (in terms of litter, chewing gum, graffiti and dog fouling) had statistically significant lower levels of poor health, even when accounting for levels of deprivation and other confounding variables. The work demonstrates that the QUALITY of green space is just as important than the quantity of green space.