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Salutogenic Affordances and Sustainability: Multiple Benefits With Edible Forest Gardens in Urban Green Spaces
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7139-2545
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 2344Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With increased urbanization, ecological challenges such as climate change and loss of biodiversity, and stress-related disorders globally posing a major threat to public health and wellbeing, the development of efficient multiple-use strategies for urban green spaces and infrastructures is of great importance. In addition to benefits such as climate and water regulation, food production, and biodiversity conservation, green spaces and features have been associated with various health and wellbeing outcomes from a psychological perspective. Research suggests links between exposure to green environmental qualities and restoration from psycho-physiological stress and attention fatigue, promotion of physical activity, increased neighborhood satisfaction and even reduced mortality. Especially strong associations have been observed in urban and socio-economically challenged areas. Usually such salutogenic, i.e., health-promoting, effects are explained through theories related to the notion of biophilia, i.e., the idea that humans share innate tendencies to attend to natural environments and features that have been beneficial during evolution. This paper assumes an ecological approach to perception and behavior to be fruitful in order to analyze the salutogenic potential of environments such as urban green spaces and to step beyond the green vs. gray dichotomy that has been prevalent through much of the research on health-promoting environments. Through an analysis of environmental affordances for certain perceived qualities such an approach is explored through a proposed concept for urban green space use and management, the edible forest garden. Such gardens, based on agroecological principles, have emerged as one of the most promising models regarding ecologically sustainable food production. In addition to potential contributions of importance for urban sustainability and biodiversity, we argue that the inclusion of edible forest gardens in urban green spaces - today globally dominated by lawns - also potentially could reinforce several affordances of salutogenic importance, both in terms of, e.g., social cohesion but also in regard to restoration from psycho-physiological stress and attention fatigue. Increased opportunities for contact with nature and processes of food production may also reinforce pro-environmental behaviors in the population and thus also affect long-term sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 9, article id 2344
Keywords [en]
salutogenic affordances, multiple-use, urban green spaces, green densification, sustainability, agroforestry, edible forest gardens
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163553DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02344ISI: 000452113300001PubMedID: 30574105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163553DiVA, id: diva2:1279368
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perceived Sensory Dimensions: A Human-Centred Approach to Environmental Planning and Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceived Sensory Dimensions: A Human-Centred Approach to Environmental Planning and Design
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increased urbanization, stress and lifestyle related illness, and biodiversity loss are some of the most urgent challenges today. The potential contributions from green spaces and infrastructures in relation to these challenges are several. In addition to benefits such as climate and water regulation, air purification, food production, and biodiversity conservation, certain aesthetic, i.e. perceived, qualities of green features and natural settings have been shown important for people’s health and wellbeing. The potential of such qualities to aid restoration from stress and attention fatigue is well documented. It has also been suggested that they could support pro-environmental behaviours, promote physical activity, and increase general wellbeing. A difference between grey/urban and green/natural settings has been highlighted in previous research. There is a need however for a more nuanced understanding of the most important qualities in the environment to consider in order to support human health and wellbeing over time.

Through a universal, human-centred approach, where needs, motivations, and meaningful experiences are considered before specific means of physical implementation, this thesis adopts a framework of eight aesthetic qualities, termed perceived sensory dimensions, accounting for basic human needs in relation to green areas. This framework is investigated and developed in different contexts and at different scales to aid an evidence-based approach to environmental design, planning, and evaluation from a human health and wellbeing perspective. A dialectic model based on the framework is suggested as a means to facilitate the inclusion of this level of analysis in, e.g. trans- and interdisciplinary research settings, and in environmental design and planning practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 52
Series
Dissertations in Physical Geography, ISSN 2003-2358 ; 3
Keywords
Green infrastructures, urban planning, environmental aesthetics, salutogenic design, multiple use
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175525 (URN)978-91-7797-901-2 (ISBN)978-91-7797-902-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-04, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 252-2011-1737
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted.

Available from: 2020-01-10 Created: 2019-11-28 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Stoltz, JonathanSchaffer, Christina

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