Impact of investiments in ALE – case Eindhoven

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Only 50% of the Dutch population complies with the Dutch Physical activity norm (hereinafter referred to as PA-norm) (CBS & RIVM, 2022). By not complying with the PA-norm 50% of the population is facing serious health complications (WHO, 2022). The living environment plays a considerable role in determining whether the PA-norm is reached by individuals or not. The more active the living environment, the more people are induced to be more physically active within the living environment (RIVM, 2016). Thus, to increase compliance with the Dutch PA-norm, active living environments (hereinafter referred to as ALEs) must be improved or created. Over the past 5 years, the municipality of Eindhoven has invested in improving ALEs. By analysing the investments and policy decisions regarding ALEs made by the municipality of Eindhoven, policy recommendations could be made to make future investments in ALEs more efficient and effective. This thesis aims to provide policy recommendations to the public administrators of the municipality of Eindhoven on how to best approach investments in improving and creating ALEs by analysing the impact of investments made to improve and create ALEs. To reach this aim the following research question was answered in this thesis: “What is the impact of investments made by the municipality of Eindhoven to create and improve active living environments on the inhabitants of the municipality of Eindhoven?”. The impact in this thesis is measured in three variables: compliance to the Dutch PA-norm, change in compliance to the Dutch PA-Norm (over the past five years), and opinion on investments. To answer this question a mixed methods approach was utilized. The qualitative part consists of two in-depth interviews and a content analysis of municipal policy regarding ALEs. The quantitative part consisted surveying the population of Eindhoven. Investments in ALEs have only been made in certain city districts. External data was added for the control variables regarding city district characteristics and investments in the city districts. The thesis showed no significant relation between investments in ALEs and the four independent variables. No differences were found between the inhabitants living in city districts that have seen investments as compared to inhabitants who did not live in these districts with regards to complying with Dutch PA-norm. Furthermore, it was observed that no significant effect exists between city districts with investments in ALEs and the change in compliance with the Dutch PA-norm over the past five years. In addition, no relation was found between the investments in ALEs and the opinion of inhabitants regarding these investments. And finally, it was also noticed that the variable impact of investments, a combination of all variables mentioned above, was not divergent between city districts with ALE investments. Combined with the fact that the models themselves are not statistically significant meant that no concluding answer could be given to the main research question and further research is needed to better understand the impact of investments in ALEs.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen