Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The wellbeing benefits of contact with nature and green spaces
Author: Leah, John
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
In the United Kingdom Government cross-departmental agendas concerning community regeneration, improvements in public health and the promotion of sustainability have promoted a variety of wellbeing related projects that use individual and community engagement with green spaces as a vehicle for bringing about social change. Such initiatives have generally taken a rather mechanistic approach focusing on causal mechanisms and health outcomes, and these have failed to effectively engage the wider population. Insufficient attention has been paid to the social dimensions of wellbeing and the use of green spaces and how these relate to cultural and symbolic meanings of 'wellbeing' and 'environment'. Practitioners and researchers have thus been calling for more imaginative criteria for evaluation. This thesis draws on evidence gained from focus group discussions and walking interviews with participants aged between 20-50 years of age living in three different wards of Bristol in the South West of England. The thesis explores lay perceptions of wellbeing and green spaces and relates these to the conceptual models used by a range of policy makers and professional practitioners. The findings suggest that social relationships are of primary importance to lay perceptions of wellbeing and the ways in which green spaces contribute to its promotion and maintenance. The study revealed that social relationships are complex and nuanced in relation to wellbeing and the use of green spaces and challenges simplistic models that fail to take this to account. The thesis presents a more complete framework for understanding wellbeing in terms of the complexities of the relationship between wellbeing and green spaces, and concludes by suggesting more effective ways of engaging people of this age group and social status in the wellbeing benefits of contact with nature and green spaces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available