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Exploring how urban nature is associated with human wellbeing in a neotropical city

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Human population growth and urbanisation are putting pressure on urban green and blue spaces worldwide. These spaces provide habitat for biodiversity and, as evidence from the Global North shows, can provide health and wellbeing benefits to urban dwellers. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the wellbeing benefits associated with urban green and blue spaces from the Global South, where the fastest rates of population growth and urban expansion are occurring. Here, we examine green and blue spaces in Georgetown, Guyana, exploring whether frequency and duration of use is (1) associated with nature-relatedness, safety concerns, and sociodemographic characteristics, (2) associated with specific visit motivations (e.g. physical, cognitive, social), and (3) associated with wellbeing (positive and negative experiential, evaluative, eudaimonic, and mental wellbeing). Participants (n = 512) were more likely to visit green and blue spaces if they had higher nature-relatedness, no safety concerns, aged <35 years, and educated above secondary level. Visit frequency was not related to wellbeing. Visit duration did not differentiate according to visit motivations. Visits to green and blue spaces of more than 25 min were associated with increased positive experiential wellbeing. No comparable patterns were found for the other wellbeing dimensions. These findings can inform public health campaigns targeted at specific sociodemographic groups. Moreover, decision-makers could minimise health inequalities by incorporating new green and blue spaces into future development plans (including the provision of backyards), and enhancing existing spaces (e.g. reducing people's safety concerns). These measures will help maximise wellbeing across all sectors of society.




Claris Fisher, J., Emmerson Bicknell, J., Nesbitt Irvine, K., Fernandes, D., Mistry, J., & Georgina Davies, Z. (2021). Exploring how urban nature is associated with human wellbeing in a neotropical city. Landscape and Urban Planning, 212.

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