Coronavirus Study

Park Usage during Mandated Social Distancing In New York City and Philadelphia

Thank you for your interest in Drexel University’s study to better understand the role of park usage in the era of the Coronavirus and social distancing.

As people flock to parks and natural areas for refuge, recreation, and relaxation, the purpose of this research is to determine whether park usage is increasing transmission of Coronavirus. The research objective will be undertaken by employing local residents to fill out a survey over the course of approximately eight weeks. Each resident who is selected to participate in the research will be asked to fill out the survey two times per day, seven days per week (for a total of 14 entries per week). Each entry should take no more than 15 minutes and be based on focused observations made during a 30-minute observation period.

The design of the study was conceptualized as a form of economic stimulus. Participants who are approved for participation will be compensated $10/entry, for a maximum weekly compensation of $140, and amounting to a maximum of $1,120 of gross income over the full eight-week study period.

This study is currently underway with Civic Scientists in Philadelphia and New York City already collecting data. If you would like to apply to be a Civic Scientist and be added to our wait list, you can do so by clicking here.

The maps below show the parks selected for this study.

Parks Selected for New York City

Parks Selected for Philadelphia

Project Information:

Project Name: RAPID: Park Usage During Mandated Social Distancing

Project Funding: National Science Foundation (CBET 2027600) 4/15/20 – 3/31/21

Project PI: Dr. Franco A. Montalto, P.E.

Project Team: Dr. Bita Alizadehtazi, Dr. Seyed Nariman Mostafavi, Ms. Korin Tangtrakul


Useful Resources:

WHO (World Health Organization) Information Hub about the Coronavirus pandemic:

Current COVID-19 situation (data visualization by WHO):

Global COVID-19 viewer: Population Estimates by Age Group and Sex (Columbia University, SEDAC, CIESIN with COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University):