A1 Journal article (refereed)
Assessing travel time-based accessibility to outdoor ice skating fields for children in Helsinki during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022)

van der Lijn, C., Nurmi, M., Hasanen, E., Pyykönen, J., Salmi, L., Salmikangas, A.-K., Vehkakoski, K., Virmasalo, I., Toivonen, T., & Muukkonen, P. (2022). Assessing travel time-based accessibility to outdoor ice skating fields for children in Helsinki during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fennia, 200(1), 6-23. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.114590

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: van der Lijn, Charlotte; Nurmi, Marisofia; Hasanen, Elina; Pyykönen, Janne; Salmi, Lotta; Salmikangas, Anna-Katriina; Vehkakoski, Kirsi; Virmasalo, Ilkka; Toivonen, Tuuli; Muukkonen, Petteri

Journal or series: Fennia

ISSN: 1798-5617

eISSN: 1798-5617

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 23/12/2022

Volume: 200

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 6-23

Publisher: Suomen maantieteellinen seura

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.114590

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84656


Informal sport is central to Finnish children’s leisure and physical activity time. This paper aims to build a better understanding of the travel time-based accessibility to informal sports facilities, specifically to ice skating fields, for children and adolescents (aged 7–19) in the city of Helsinki. We focused on the winter of 2020–2021 because COVID-19 restrictions on indoor activities resulted in ice skating fields being among the few public facilities that could remain open. Additionally, the weather was favourable for maintaining outdoor ice skating fields. We analysed if there would be a difference in children’s independent travel times by public transport or walking to ice skating fields due to the COVID-19 pandemic related recommendations by Helsinki Region Transport to avoid public transport. Children in Finland usually travel to and from school independently. Hence we focused on the transition from public transport to walking and omitted car usage, which would require an adult. We also looked at the potential differences in travel time to ice skating fields by analysing different types of fields separately. This difference would be of significance if climate change resulted in warmer winters in Finland. Helsinki has two types of ice skating fields: naturally frozen and mechanically frozen, of which only the mechanically frozen fields would be used during a warmer winter that is above zero degrees Celsius. We took a geographic information systems (GIS) analysis approach using travel time and population catchments. The study’s main findings show that during a milder winter and by walking, the accessibility for children is greatly reduced to 55.2%; that is, children face an increased travel time when naturally frozen ice skating fields are not in use. However, almost 100% of the child population can access both types of fields within a travel time of 30 minutes by public transport.

Keywords: children (age groups); young people; leisure activities; physical hobbies; winter exercise; skating; sports grounds and physical exercise facilities; accessibility; time use; walking (motion); public transport; unusual conditions; COVID-19; spatial analysis

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-05-09 at 10:27