FRIYTAN PER ELEV, EN PLATS FÖR LEK OCH UTEVISTELSE ELLER SPRIDNING AV COVID-19? En studie av sambandet mellan den fysiska planeringen av skolans utemiljö och covid-19 i svenska kommuner
In Sweden, some municipalities have been hit considerably harder than others by COVID-19. A deeper understanding of this variance can have significant health-promoting and economic implications and can help to increase resiliency. The existing research literature has largely focused on the effects of restrictive measures and individuals varying compliance to them. Surprisingly, few studies have examined whether the spatial planning of the environment can be linked to individuals' lack of compliance and risk of becoming infected. This thesis sheds light on the spatial planning of the outdoor environment in schools and examines whether there is a connection between the average open space per pupil and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Swedish municipalities. The study has a statistical design, and the analysis was performed in two steps. The results from the first step of the analysis showed that municipalities with less open space per pupil had more cases of covid-19, but that the covariation was probably caused by underlying factors. The second step of the analysis was a quasi-experiment designed to get closer to the possibility of drawing some conclusions about causality. The result from the second step was ambiguous, but still gave some indication that the spatial planning of the environment in schools may have affected the spread of infection during the semester. However, the overall assessment was that there was insufficient support for the hypothesis. Thus, it was concluded that the spatial planning of the outdoor environment in schools has not affected the spread of covid-19 in Swedish municipalities.