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How social distancing affects our movements and well-being

A new project will look at how different urban environments in Sweden are used during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether changes to social interaction affects people’s well-being. Link to the survey can be found below. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Project to analyze how Swedes have changed their outdoor social activities during the coronavirus pandemic

TAKE PART IN SURVEY: With restrictions in place to curb our social interactions, people’s movement patterns are severely limited. How does this affect their well-being?

In a project inititated by researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and University of Gävle, data will be collected to get a better understanding how different urban environments are used in times of crises.

The project is part of an extensive effort to collect data that can improve future urban planning. Similar efforts are being made in Madrid.

The current situation is in many ways unprecedented. It is an extremely difficult situation but also one we can learn a lot from.

Stephan Barthel, project leader and centre researcher

Identifying patterns

Together with his colleagues, Barthel wants to get a better understanding of how people move around and whether it affects people’s well-being. The analysis will be based on an anonymous online survey. “We are looking for population patterns, not the behaviour of individuals.”

The project is a spin-off from research in 2015 when inhabitants of Stockholm were asked to map their favourite and least favourite areas of the city. Although Stockholm certainly represents a particularly interesting case also for the current project, there are no limitations as to where in Sweden the data can come from.

“Stockholm has one of the world’s highest number of inhabitants living alone. This would imply that there is a higher need to interact and move about,” Barthel adds.

Click here to participate in the survey (in Swedish only)

Published: 2020-04-29

Related info

Click here to participate in the survey (in Swedish only)

For more information about the project, contact centre researcher Stephan Barthel:

Stephan Barthel studies environmental issues in metropolitan landscapes.


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