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Exploring the role of urban environments for human wellbeing: an analysis of people's experiences in Madrid
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

If urban planning is to ensure wellbeing while reducing negative environmental impacts, a better understanding on how different urban environments support or hinder wellbeing is needed. This thesis uses softGIS methodology to understand how different urban environments impact people’s experiences in Madrid. An online PPGIS survey collected people’s positive and negative experiences in Madrid (n=400) as well as the perceived environmental qualities for each experience. The thesis applies affordance theory to analyse experiences. For the spatial analysis, the study uses 6 environmental features and analyses the perceived environmental qualities (PEQ) in all of them. The results suggest that social interaction is the main PEQ for having positive experiences and that it is higher in built environments. On the other hand, the presence of nature is reported to be the most important PEQ in positive experiences in nature environments. However, social interaction is the main cause for having negative experience regardless of the type of environment. The thesis concludes that this method allows to map restorative environments and describe their PEQ providing a useful tool for urban planners to design cities for citizens’ wellbeing. This thesis suggests that in order to achieve sustainability goals in urban areas while ensuring wellbeing, a focus should be put on transforming places with high number of negative experiences by including some nature elements that can reduce the feeling of crowding without eroding the dynamics of these environments. Also, a better distribution of nature environments could improve wellbeing in urban areas. In addition, creating spaces for social interaction should be other priority in urban planning in Madrid, due to the importance it has for people’s wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
PPGIS, experiences, perceived environmental qualities, restorative environments, wellbeing, Madrid
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Environmental Sciences Information Systems Applied Psychology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157410OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157410DiVA, id: diva2:1220063
Presentation
2018-06-11, Stockholm, 12:23 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-18 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Stockholm Resilience Centre
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)Environmental SciencesInformation SystemsApplied PsychologySocial Sciences Interdisciplinary

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CiteExportLink to record
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