The Community and the Built Environment indicator refers to perceived safety, access, and availability of facilities and spaces that provide opportunities for physical activity in children and young people. There is no specific recommendation for Community and the Built Environment, however researcher has reported a relationship between the built environment and physical activity (Sallis and Glanz, 2006).
For the 2016 Report Card, the Research Work Group used the percentage of children/parents satisfied with the play facilities available in their local area to assign a grade to this indicator. Feedback from the largest consultation of its kind in Wales was also used to assist with the grading process.
Two nationally representative data sources were used by the Research Work Group to assign the Community and the Built Environment grade.
The National Survey for Wales (2014/15) conducts a 25-minute face-to-face interview with one adult (aged 16+) in each household across Wales. 14,285 interviews with parents of primary and secondary school children were recorded. The data found 54% and 38% of parents with a child aged 1-10 and 11-15 years, respectively, were satisfied with the play facilities in their local area. Of the parents with a child aged 1-10 years who were dissatisfied, 83% reported there was a lack of suitable outdoor public places for their child to play, whereas 64% reported a lack of suitable indoor spaces. Additionally, of the parents with a child aged 11-15 years who were dissatisfied, 77% cited a lack of suitable outdoor public places, 79% believed there was a lack of indoor public places, and 64% believed there were too few clubs or organised activities.
What Next? (2015) - Children and young people in Wales given a voice in one of the largest consultations of its kind. Initiated by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, consultations with children and young people (aged 3-18+) in Wales, as well as, their parents, gave feedback on four key areas of focus linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): Provision, Protection, Participation and Promotion.
The data showed that 'more places to play' was the highest priority (49%) for children aged 3-7. Other common priorities for this age group were tackling poverty (29%), improving child safety (28%) and tackling bullying (28%). For children aged 7-11 years, stopping bullying was the highest priority (55%). The next two highest priorities for this age group were helping children and families in poverty (47%), and making local areas safer for children (41%). The most common priority (53%) for young people aged 11-18 was tackling bullying. More than 40% of young people reported protecting children from violence and abuse at home, more facilities in the local area, and help for children and families in poverty as their highest priorities. Across all data reported, priorities did not vary substantially by age, gender or region for all age groups.
The grade for community and the built environment has decreased from a B in the 2014 Report Card, to a C in 2016. More high quality data was available in the 2016 Report Card grading process to support a grade for this indicator. The Research Work Group believed a decrease in the grade was needed due to the proportion of parents being unsatisfied with the play facilities in their local area, and reports of barriers to play and physical activity.