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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.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, 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
Psychology
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: 2019-01-16Bibliographically approved

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