The literature on human experience in green environments had widely showed the positive outcomes of getting in contact with nature. This study addresses the issue of whether urban residents’ evaluations of urban and peri-urban natural settings and the positive outcomes deriving from contact with such settings vary as a function of their biodiversity. A field study assessed benefits and subjective well-being reported by urban residents visiting four different typologies of green spaces, selected on the basis of urban forestry expert criteria according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. The biodiversity level (low vs. high) was crossed with the setting location (urban vs. peri-urban) as follows: urban squares with green elements, urban parks, pinewood forest plantations, and peri-urban natural protected areas. A questionnaire including measures of length and frequency of visits, perceived restorativeness, and self-reported benefits of the visit to the green spaces was administered in situ to 569 residents of four Italian medium-to-large size cities: Bari, Florence, Rome and Padua. Results showed the positive role of biodiversity upon perceived restorative properties and self-reported benefits for urban and peri-urban green spaces. Consistently with the hypotheses reported herein, a mediation role of perceived restorativeness in the relation between experience of natural settings (i.e. higher level of biodiversity) and self-reported benefits was found. The design and management implications of the findings are discussed.

Go greener, feel better? The positive effects of biodiversity on the well-being of individuals visiting urban and peri-urban green areas

LAFORTEZZA, RAFFAELE;SANESI, Giovanni
2015

Abstract

The literature on human experience in green environments had widely showed the positive outcomes of getting in contact with nature. This study addresses the issue of whether urban residents’ evaluations of urban and peri-urban natural settings and the positive outcomes deriving from contact with such settings vary as a function of their biodiversity. A field study assessed benefits and subjective well-being reported by urban residents visiting four different typologies of green spaces, selected on the basis of urban forestry expert criteria according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. The biodiversity level (low vs. high) was crossed with the setting location (urban vs. peri-urban) as follows: urban squares with green elements, urban parks, pinewood forest plantations, and peri-urban natural protected areas. A questionnaire including measures of length and frequency of visits, perceived restorativeness, and self-reported benefits of the visit to the green spaces was administered in situ to 569 residents of four Italian medium-to-large size cities: Bari, Florence, Rome and Padua. Results showed the positive role of biodiversity upon perceived restorative properties and self-reported benefits for urban and peri-urban green spaces. Consistently with the hypotheses reported herein, a mediation role of perceived restorativeness in the relation between experience of natural settings (i.e. higher level of biodiversity) and self-reported benefits was found. The design and management implications of the findings are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/67224
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