Priority populations experience unjust access to blue and green spaces in Canada and internationally. We examined which self-report and audit-based measures have been used to examine equity in blue and green spaces. In general few studies examine equity in green and blue and spaces and new measures should be developed for this purpose.

For the attention of: Ministries of Health and WHO Healthy City Networks

The problem: Priority populations, including women, youth, older adults, Indigenous people, LGBTQIA2S+, those experiencing poverty, racialized people, and those living in rural areas have less access to green and blue space in their neighbourhood and benefit less from these spaces.

What we did and why: Green and blue space are associated with physical activity. Few studies have examined or worked with priority populations to assess how these groups access green or blue space.

What our study adds: Few self-report or audit-based measures of green and blue space have been used with priority populations to study physical activity. We did not find that any self-report tool was consistently used to assess green and blue space. For audit-based measures of green and blue space, SOPARC was the most used tool.

Implications for city policy and practice: Our experience working with cities is that they have a deep commitment to improving equity in their work. However, cities are challenged with how to measure and monitor equity in green and blue space. This scoping review provides guidance in which tools cities could use to measure, monitor, and intervene to improve equity.

Full research article: Common measures of green and blue space for built environment, health equity and intervention research: a scoping review by Daniel Fuller, Martine Shareck, Stephanie Sersli, Carly Priebe, Ali Alfosool, Justin Lang and Emily Wolfe Phillips.