More than the sum of its parts: Supporting citizens to be involved in social innovation

The importance of good quality outdoor public spaces for fostering health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly recognised in policy agendas, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the targets for achieving goal 11, “Sustainable cities and communities”, is: “By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities” To achieve this goal, a diverse range of people need to be engaged in evaluating the public spaces they use (or avoid) to identify what makes a public space safe, inclusive and accessible. Citizen science can play an important role in achieving this goal. Citizen science and public health Traditionally, citizen scientists have been involved in collecting information about the natural world (e.g. bug counts, testing soil); however, citizen science in public health research has great potential and is gathering interest. The focus of Our Outdoors is about health and outdoor space.