The M74 Study: Health Effects of a New Urban Motorway
The M74 study builds on our previous systematic reviews and primary studies by attempting to assess the health effects of a major "natural experiment" - in this case, the construction of a new stretch of urban motorway in Glasgow - focusing on the effects of environmental change on local people's perceptions of their local environment, travel behaviour, physical activity and wellbeing.
In 2005 we conducted a baseline study among those living close to the planned motorway and also among those living in two similar areas elsewhere in Glasgow: one where there has been a motorway since the 1960s, and one that has no motorway. We are now conducting the follow-up part of this evaluation to investigate changes in travel behaviour, physical activity, perceptions of the neighbourhood environment, wellbeing, and road traffic casualties. This is a mixed methods study using postal questionnaires, qualitative interviews, objective measures of physical activity (accelerometery), and an assessment of physical changes in the neighbourhood. The research will be judged a success if it increases our understanding of how and why changing characteristics of the urban environment does, or does not, affect how people feel about living in their neighbourhoods, where they go in those neighbourhoods and how active they are. This is important because there is currently little clear public health evidence to guide decisions about investing in expensive urban regeneration projects of this kind.
For more information about the qualitative part of this study, please visit the qualitative sub-study webpage.
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Ogilvie D, Mitchell R, Mutrie N, Petticrew M, Platt S. Perceived characteristics of the environment associated with active travel: development and testing of a new scale. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008;5:32pubmed open access
Ogilvie D, Mitchell R, Mutrie N, Petticrew M, Platt S. Personal and environmental correlates of active travel and physical activity in a deprived urban population. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008;5:43pubmed open access
Ogilvie D. Shifting towards healthier transport? From systematic review to primary research [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2007.open access
- Natural experiment Some naturally-occurring event (such as the implementation of a government policy), the effects of which can be investigated scientifically