The positive benefits of urban greenspaces for human health and well-being are widely recognised. While much intellectual effort has gone into identifying and cataloguing the environmental characteristics of places, spaces and landscapes associated with particular health outcomes, less well understood are the social dimensions through which everyday engagements with such greenspaces are framed and put into practice, and interactions between these dimensions. This article reports on preliminary findings from ethnographic research in two areas of Dundee, UK. We used mobile and participatory visual methods with greenspace users in order to investigate their everyday experiences and engagements with local greenspaces, and to understand how meanings associated with use translate (or not) into well-being benefits. The research found that experiences of greenspace - and thus any well-being benefits produced through engagement - are inescapably social and mediated through people's positioning in relation to particular social groups. Moreover there is not one social context or social order, but many, and hence meanings are contested. This prompts for more attention to be paid to how well-being from greenspace can be delivered in ways meaningful to different people and groups. We conclude that social relations and social health (as well as individual mental and physical health) need to be more thoroughly explored in relation to greenspace and its management practices. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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