Evidence-based design of perceived pathways in cold regional parks for elderly health behavior

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The aging situation of China is severe at this stage, and the "14th Five-Year Plan" has recommended that tackling aging should be raised as a national strategy. There is no doubt about the utility of parks to physical and mental health of the elderly, and it is also an important space carrier for elderly health behavior. Among them, paths are the most used space by the elderly, and it is necessary to explore the coupling results of the senior internal requirements and the evaluation of the perceived environment. Studies have proved that proper exercise in winter can also achieve health promotion, but existing research has limited the excavation of cold climate regions. Therefore, this study focused on cold regions, with the elderly as the main body of investigation, and park pathways as the spatial object, in order to explore: 1) healthy behavior patterns on pathways in different times and seasons; 2) perceived environmental characteristics that significantly affect the occurrence of elderly health behaviors; 3) perceived evaluation of elderly people on pathways with different characteristics. Firstly, this research selected Daishan Park, Jinjiang Park, Jinxiu Park and Changchun Park in Changchun, a representative city of cold regions, as the survey samples. We selected representative walking paths in these four parks, and extracted the perceived physical space characteristics, including qualitative and quantitative indicators such as scale, paving, side interface, facilities and landscape, water or event venue accessibility. Then, combined with behavior observation and map labeling, this study used statistics and cluster analysis to compare the number of activities and exercise intensity of different paths, and explored the healthy behavior patterns carried by path spaces. Secondly, it combined regular and repeated interviews with 26 elderly users, and characterized their psychological perception of environmental needs as safety, comfort, convenience, beauty and sense of belonging. Furthermore, we conducted a survey on the importance-satisfaction of perceiving environment in the paths selected above, and explored the spatial characteristics and current issues that significantly influence the healthy behaviors of the elderly. The results show that in winter park pathways, healthy behaviors are dominated by dynamic behaviors for fitness purposes. The factors that have the greatest impact on the development of healthy behaviors are route design and the accessibility of activity venues, and the greatest demand is safety. In non-winter park pedestrian space, there are more static behaviors for recreational purposes. Route design, scale, plants and accessibility are the most influential spatial elements, and the most important requirement is comfort and beauty. In addition, comparing the use of park roads during daytime and nighttime, it is found that the elderly have greater demands for environmental comfort and scenic beauty during daytime, and their biggest needs at night are good lighting conditions and smooth paving. Finally, based on the above discussion and conclusions, we tried to provide targeted and implementable suggestions and measures for the optimization of pathways in similar cold regional parks. This article proposed optimization strategies from the aspects of management, overall and detailed design, that is, to improve the adaptability of resource conversion and maintenance, the rationality of the route design, and the support of detailed design such as scale and landscape. In summary, we provided a new perspective for active aging and space optimization in cold regions.
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2: Well-being and health. Al-Fereej: caring for living conditions
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School of Architecture,Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT);Hei Longjiang Cold Region Urban-Rural Human Settlements Science Key Laboratory
Harbin Institute of Technology

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