The ‘nature’ Of Urban Sustainability: Private Or Public Greenspaces?
Free (open access)
C. Bernardini & K. N. Irvine
Addressing urban sustainability requires an understanding of the psychological experience of place. This study explores the relationship between people and two types of nature. Semi-structured interviews with 40 householders in a UK city suggest remarkable differences in how gardens and public greenspaces contribute to residents’ sense of self. Control and private space emerged as distinguishing factors. Having a connection with nature positively affects perceptions of ecological value; this value corresponded with environmental concern. Findings support the proposition that greenspaces are meaningful for people-environment relationships with implications for promoting quality social and ecological urban settings. Keywords: place identity, environmental perception, urban sustainability, environmental concern, greenspaces, gardens, parks, biodiversity. 1 Introduction The contribution of nature to urban social sustainability, particularly to residents’ relationship to place, has received little attention. While research has explored psychological processes leading to place identity (e.g. Uzzell et al ; Twigger- Ross & Uzzell ), few have examined the process in terms of urban nature. What research there is, centres on public greenspaces (e.g. Bell et al ); private areas remain largely under-studied. The purpose of this study was to explore the similarities and differences for place identity (PI) processes and environmental representation (ER) in relation to private gardens and public greenspaces.
place identity, environmental perception, urban sustainability, environmental concern, greenspaces, gardens, parks, biodiversity.