The effects of naturalness, gender, and age on how urban green space is perceived and used
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016
Neighbourhood green space serves an important function for the urban population, and provides valuable ecosystem services for human well-being. In this article, we investigate the effects of naturalness, gender, and age on the activities, aesthetics, and self-reported well-being associated with urban green space. Our findings are based on a postal survey of residents living in close proximity to six different green spaces in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. It is shown that higher perceived naturalness generated more activities and higher aesthetic values and self-reported well-being for residents living close to urban green spaces. The results also indicated that, regardless of the type of naturalness, women were more active in urban green spaces than were men. Women also saw greater aesthetic value in green spaces than men did, and had higher self-reported well-being associated with the urban green spaces. Finally, older residents were shown to participate in a greater number of nature-related activities than younger residents. Older residents also saw greater aesthetic values and had higher self-reported well-being associated with urban green spaces than younger people did. Seemingly, this poses a considerable planning challenge if areas of perceived naturalness are to be retained in cities, since the present trend is for reduced green spaces in cities and a ‘parkification’ of surviving natural areas. Further, because of the importance of perceived natural areas to the elderly, and in particularly women, distances to urban green areas should not be too great.
Cultural ecosystem services