Shade Provision at Outdoor Parks and Playgrounds

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Cimino, Andrea

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University of Guelph


Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun is a known risk factor for skin cancer. Shade provides protection from UVR and is therefore useful in the effort to prevent skin cancer. This research evaluates the amount of shade at playgrounds in Guelph, Ontario, Canada using shade audits, as well explores factors impacting shade provision at parks through interviews with shade stakeholders. Shade coverage at public playgrounds in Guelph, Ontario, Canada is low, with the surrounding area of playgrounds having more shade than the more frequently used main play areas. Shade stakeholders expressed the importance of and necessity for shade, but identified competing interests, budget, space constraints, and maintenance and operations as potential barriers that can limit the provision of shade at parks. Determining ways to reduce these barriers and ensuring outdoor parks and playgrounds have adequate amounts of shade is needed to protect populations from excessive UVR exposure.



shade, skin cancer prevention, built environment, shade audits, shade stakeholders, thematic analysis, interviews