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Anna Boldina: Urban Hiking. Factors that can persuade pedestrians to choose more physically challenging routes in urban environment, in connection with their physical abilities

Supervisor: Professor Koen Steemers
Anna Boldina

 

 

 

Research overview: 

Health is a key component of quality and longevity of life, and the built environment can help people stay healthy. Anna’s research brings together physiology and sociology to model the optimal environment to encourage serendipitous street exercise. The focus is on quality of exercise rather than quantity, seeking the optimum for general population above bland walking and below challenging parkour, that would help maintaining and developing proprioception, healthy cardiorespiratory system, muscles, bones and mental health. The sociological portion is about making the challenging routes to be perceived safe, attractive, socially acceptable, and enjoyable to those who naturally would not push themselves.  

The methods include tests of metabolic and cardio rate and recording of body parts positions with Kinovea software at various terrains (in collaboration with Coimbra University), street observations and Qualtrix psychological surveys with calibrated images, analysed with SPSS. 

The current accepted wisdom for designing public outdoor routes tends to focus heavily on ease of access while where there is enough space: one route can be smooth and easy but other options - more enticing and energetic. The ultimate research goal is aimed at supporting infrastructure and landscape designers in optimising their designs for a healthier future. 

 

Biography: 

Anna completed her Architectural education at the MArchI and Urban Design in London’s Bartlett. Anna has taught a pre RIBA Part 3 course at Westminster university as well as returning to UCL as an external critic.
Anna has 15 years’ experience working in a number of architectural practices in London and Moscow including WATG, TPBennett and Egret West. Her projects are residential, educational, hospitality and masterplanning - in the UK, Italy, Turkey, India, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Anna has also designed and built her house with her research philosophies applied.