Healthy Urban Living and Ageing in Place (HULAP):Physical activity, built environment and knowledge exchange in Brazilian cities: Study Protocol

Claire Cleland, Ruth Hunter, Brendan Murtagh, Urmi Sengupta, Mark Tully, Frank Kee, Sara Moutinho Barbosa de Melo, Adriano Hino, Alex Florindo, Fabio Duarte, Claudia Alberico, Adalberto Lopes, Rodrigo Reis, Geraint Ellis

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Healthy urban ageing is a global issue. Non-communicable diseases are a public health priority and there is a need to focus on the rise of obesity and to ‘scale-up programmes, policies and actions’ to address physical inactivity. A major concern relating to healthy urban ageing is the rapid social and built environment changes exposing vulnerable populations (low socioeconomic status, older adults and women) to lower levels of physical activity (PA) due to motorized transportation, urbanization and low access to public infrastructure in Low-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). The study aimed to investigate the built, social and policy environments in the UK and Brazil to ensure healthy urban ageing in rapidly urbanising and ageing populations in LMICs.

The HULAP Study comprises of seven work packages (WP),including: project management (WP1); the generation of spatial data from UK/Brazil and the evaluation of existing models of walkability (WP2); collection of PA, health and environmental data in older adults in UK (linked to the NICOLA Study) and Brazil (n=600)(WP3); analysis of the governance of healthy ageing(WP4); briefing papers providing targeted, evidence-based guidance on policy relating to opportunities for older adults in Brazilian cities(WP5); creating opportunities for exchange of good practice and other experiences between European and Brazilian stakeholders(WP6); and dissemination (WP7).

Three themes will be explored to answer a set of research questions: 1) Urban design, Planning, Housing and Infrastructure – to determine if the built environment at different geographic scales facilitates/impedes older adults, PA; 2) Health Inequalities and Justice - will address specific healthy ageing challenges to determine opportunities for improving the well-being of older adults so they can enjoy independence and a high quality of life and make a contribution to society; and 3) Leadership, Governance and Institutions - explore the governance context for healthy ageing in Brazil/UK, to examine the capacity of institutions to respond and identify key stakeholders involved in this policy arena.

This study will provide a conceptual and empirical understanding of the influence of the built, social and policy environments on healthy urban ageing. Previous evidence will be enhanced and new evidence and policy tools will be developed, enhancing policy effectiveness and improved institutional collaboration.

Lessons learned from understanding the association between the built, social and policy environments and PA in older adults in these contexts can provide a foundation to inform policies and practice in LMICs that will face similar healthy ageing issues in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016
EventWHO HEPA Europe 2016 - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Sept 201630 Sept 2016


ConferenceWHO HEPA Europe 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Physical activity
  • ageing in place
  • ageing
  • Built environment
  • Brazil
  • Knowledge exchange
  • health
  • urban living


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