A “magic teleportation machine”: ethnically diverse green space users derive similar cultural ecosystem benefits from urban nature
Subjectscultural ecosystem services
Subject Categories::N222 Recreation/Leisure Management
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AbstractGreen spaces are vital to the wellbeing of urban communities, largely due to the many Cultural Ecosystem Benefits (CEB) that nature contributes to outdoor recreation experiences (e.g., relaxation, inspiration, spiritual enrichment). To ensure equity in the distribution of CEB, however, we require a better understanding of how they relate to ethnicity. Through 100 in-situ semi-structured interviews with green space users in the Lee Valley Regional Park, London, UK, this research explored variation in outdoor recreational CEB based on i) ethnicity and ii) green space activity and attribute preferences. We compared green space preferences and CEB of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and white users of two distinct types of urban green space: parks and more biodiverse Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Both white and BAME visitors to parks prioritized games/sports and built features whereas visitors to SSSIs more often undertook wildlife viewing and prioritized natural features. However, we found that white and BAME users of both types of urban green space derived similar CEB. Peace and relaxation were primary among these benefits, a result of both nature interaction and its contrast to the urban environment. These results demonstrate that nature does not have to be the focal point of outdoor recreation to contribute to wellbeing; rather, even as a backdrop to sports and cultural activities, nature provides similar benefits to green space users. To promote use of green space and foster intercultural understanding, we recommend integrating these shared benefits obtained from nature within marketing and engagement strategies. Future research is needed to explore CEB variation within and among distinct ethnic communities to fully capture the diversity of lived experiences.
CitationEdwards RC, Larson BM, Church A (2021) 'A “magic teleportation machine”: ethnically diverse green space users derive similar cultural ecosystem benefits from urban nature', Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 67 (127409)
SponsorsFunding for the research reported in this paper was provided by the Dean’s Doctoral Initiative, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo. Funding for the research reported in this paper was provided by the Dean’s Doctoral Initiative, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo.
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