The Portsmouth Skills Garden: Building a healthy community for life through inclusive and interactive movement

Project Details


Exploring ways to increase PA to improve health is not new but what makes our approach ‘state of the art’ is a shift in focus away from an individual’s motivation by asking instead: “What type of novel environmental intervention may facilitate and support sustained engagement in PA among those in Portsmouth with the greatest need?” Our aim is to build the UK’s first ‘Skills Garden’ (SG) – a novel, accessible and scalable community-based movement hub in Landport.
In contrast to existing PA infrastructure (e.g., conventional playgrounds or outdoor ‘gyms’), our project will create a SG ( which invites exploration and movement. Developed in the Netherlands, the SG’s emphasis is on providing opportunities to develop fundamental movement skills –
considered the building blocks to optimal movement and a strong predictor of sustained PA. We will extend this work by co-designing with community members a bespoke movement space that acts as a hub for inclusive social interaction and intergenerational engagement in unstructured PA.
Short titlePortsmouth Skills Garden
Effective start/end date1/10/2231/05/24

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


  • Environmental psychology
  • Affordances
  • Physical Activity
  • participatory research