Evaluating the risk of accessing green spaces in COVID-19 pandemic: A model for public urban green spaces (PUGS) in London.
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) at the beginning of 2020 has restricted the human population indoor with some allowance for recreation in green spaces for social interaction and daily exercise. Understanding and measuring the risk of COVID-19 infection during public urban green spaces (PUGS) visits is essential to reduce the spread of the virus and improve well-being. This study builds a data-fused risk assessment model to evaluate the risk of visiting the PUGS in London. Three parameters are used for risk evaluation: the number of new cases at the middle-layer super output area (MSOA) level, the accessibility of each public green space and the Indices of Multiple Deprivation at the lower-layer super output area (LSOA) level. The model assesses 1357 PUGS and identifies the risk in three levels, high, medium and low, according to the results of a two-step clustering analysis. The spatial variability of risk across the city is demonstrated in the evaluation. The evaluation of risk can provide a better metric to the decision-making at both the individual level, on deciding which green space to visit, and the borough level, on how to implement restricting measures on green space access.