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Freshwater blue space and well-being: investigating co-benefits at different spatial scales

de Bell, Siân (2017) Freshwater blue space and well-being: investigating co-benefits at different spatial scales. PhD thesis, University of York.

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There is increasing evidence that the natural environment is beneficial to human health and well-being. An initial scoping review indicated that studies have considered a range of health measures but generally treat the environment homogeneously, concentrating on green space, indicating a lack of integration of an ecological perspective. This thesis has used a mixed method approach to consider the role of the environment in benefiting human health and well-being and the potential to derive co-benefits from this relationship. At a national level, the benefits associated with a single environment type, blue space, were investigated. The majority of people derived psychological and social benefits from visiting blue spaces; nature was important in mediating the psychological benefits of these visits. At a local level, the role of nature, specifically ecological health, was considered, by evaluating the success of an ecological restoration project. An improvement in ecological health was seen as a result of the restoration whilst from a social perspective, users viewed the restoration positively and discussed obtaining psychological benefits from urban natural spaces. The use of qualitative methods allowed identification of issues surrounding place attachment which was disrupted by the restoration. A comparison of the views of local users, providers, and commentators further explored opinions regarding the management of urban natural spaces. Although providers and commentators were generally aware of the needs and preferences of local users, a mismatch was revealed regarding preferences for formal or wild natural spaces, with local users favouring a range of management regimes including wild spaces which providers believed they would find undesirable. The implications of these findings for planning and policy are considered as they indicate that the conservation and management of the natural environment offers opportunities to deliver co-benefits for the environment and health.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: Ms Sian de Bell
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 15:57
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2019 01:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19669

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