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  • 1. Nordström, Eva-Maria
    et al.
    Dolling, Ann
    Skärbäck, Erik
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Grahn, Patrik
    Lundell, Ylva
    Forests for wood production and stress recovery: trade-offs in long-term forest management planning2015In: European Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 1612-4669, E-ISSN 1612-4677, Vol. 134, no 5, p. 755-767Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Forests play an important role, contributing to human health and well-being as environments for recreation and rehabilitation. Stress has become a significant problem in modern societies, and the importance of forests as environments for stress relief has been recognized in recent years. To maintain and create forests for rehabilitation, consideration of their rehabilitation value needs to be incorporated into forest management planning and to do this, we need to define and quantify the characteristics of good rehabilitation forests. This study presents an approach for including rehabilitation value as an aspect of forest management planning. This approach is applied to three case study areas in northern, middle and southern Sweden to identify trade-offs between maintaining high wood production while creating forest areas suitable for rehabilitation from stress-related diseases. The results show that quite large areas of rehabilitation forest (10-15 % of total forest area) can be maintained at a relatively small loss in economic net present value (NPV) of wood production (ca 2 % of maximum NPV). When using the rehabilitation value indicator defined in this study, age and spatial variables (distance to roads and water) seem to be the most limiting factors.

  • 2. Skärbäck, Erik
    et al.
    Björk, Jonas
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Rydell-Andersson, Kristin
    Grahn, Patrik
    Green perception for well-being in dense urban areas: A tool for socioeconomic integration2014In: Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, E-ISSN 1893-5281, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 179-200Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A previous study (n = 24,819) of semi-urban and rural areas in the Skåne region, southern Sweden, showed that people living in flats are depen- dent on having green space with several characteristics for different affordances close to their homes to be satisfied with their neighbour- hood. The two studies presented in this paper focuses on the urban area of Malmö, the largest city in Skåne. Equivalent criteria for the presence of certain characteristics within 300 m from home were used, however analysed from other kinds of data than the regional study. In both the previous rural/semi-urban study as well as the urban studies presented here, respondents report being more satisfied with their neighbourhood the more qualities that are present within 300 m of their home. Less than half of the apartment-dwelling respondents in the Malmö urban area are satisfied with their neighbourhood if less than half of the characteris- tics are available within 300 m. Even when there are few characteristics close by, people living in their own house are generally more satisfied with their neighbourhood (70 % or more irrespective of area type) than tenants are. A relatively high concordance between the two studies, despite the fact that they represent different kinds of landscape (semi- urban and rural vs. urban) and different scales (region vs. municipality), adds validity to the recreational characteristics as a tool for assessing well-being qualities of neighbourhood landscapes.

    The results from the studies of Malmö were also related to average household income and a clear association between our studies’ data on accessibility to serene areas and household income was found. This find- ing suggests that creating additional serene green space in low-income areas could be a tool to help the municipality reduce segregation.

  • 3.
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Perceived Sensory Dimensions: A Human-Centred Approach to Environmental Planning and Design2019Doctoral 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.

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  • 4.
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Grahn, Patrik
    Skärbäck, Erik
    Björk, Jonas
    Does neighbourhood green space quality affect noise annoyance? Contradictory results between self-reports and independent estimates of perceived qualities in a cross-sectional studyIn: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research suggests access to green areas and visible greenery to mitigate traffic noise annoyance. Studies also suggest certain perceptual qualities of neighbourhood green spaces to improve wellbeing and physical activity. Here we test if the presence of these qualities in the neighbourhood might reduce annoyance from traffic noise at home. We control for potential single-source bias of the result by also employing independent estimates of these qualities retrieved from a separate study sample. Methods: We use cross-sectional public health survey data from 7,065 individuals including information about disturbances from road traffic noise and reports of perceived qualities in the neighbourhood green spaces. We also estimate the presence of these qualities by area-aggregating 28,016 individual perceptions collected from an independent survey sample into 3,598 different 1-km2 squares. Results: With self-reports, more reported qualities in neighbourhood green spaces indicate a mitigating effect on annoyance at given noise levels. With independent estimates however, results instead suggest that more qualities actually might increase sensitivity to traffic noise and that the inverse causality might explain the negative link observed between self-reported qualities and annoyance. Conclusions: A possible explanation could be that traffic noise stands out in more contrast in environments with high quality green spaces. Extra care might then be motivated to protect such areas from noise exposure. Self-reported and independently estimated perceived green space might yield different results in epidemiological studies due to single-source bias effects.

  • 5.
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Lundell, Ylva
    Skärbäck, Erik
    Annerstedt van den Bosch, Matilda
    Grahn, Patrik
    Nordström, Eva-Maria
    Dolling, Ann
    Planning for restorative forests: describing stress-reducing qualities of forest stands using available forest stand data2016In: European Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 1612-4669, E-ISSN 1612-4677, Vol. 135, no 5, p. 803-813Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research suggests that certain forest environments can contribute to lower stress levels in humans. This might be increasingly important to consider given the rising prevalence of stress-related diseases and illness absence. To make it feasible to plan for forest management strategies that take such restorative effects into account, it would seem to be important to identify the precise physical properties that contribute to the restorative qualities of forest stands. It would also be useful if forest stand data typically already collected by forest owners could be used for this purpose. In the present study, forest stands in northern, central, and southern Sweden were visited and assessed regarding their restorative potential. These assessments were analysed together with available forest stand data for each region using statistical models. Our results indicate that of the available forest stand data parameters, the most important individual indicators of forest stands' restorative qualities were tree age, tree sparsity, and tree height. Models based on these parameters explained 30-40 % of the variation in restorative qualities among the evaluated stands, indicating that they can be useful in planning and modelling scenarios where restorative properties of forest stands are considered.

  • 6.
    Stoltz, Jonathan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Schaffer, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Salutogenic Affordances and Sustainability: Multiple Benefits With Edible Forest Gardens in Urban Green Spaces2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 2344Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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