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Health Place. 2014 Nov;30:287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.10.005. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Green space, health and wellbeing: making space for individual agency.

Author information

1
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Truro, Treliske, TR1 3HD, United Kingdom. Electronic address: S.Bell@exeter.ac.uk.
2
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Truro, Treliske, TR1 3HD, United Kingdom. Electronic address: C.Phoenix@exeter.ac.uk.
3
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Truro, Treliske, TR1 3HD, United Kingdom. Electronic address: R.Lovell@exeter.ac.uk.
4
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Truro, Treliske, TR1 3HD, United Kingdom. Electronic address: B.W.Wheeler@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

This essay examines the assumptions of green space use underpinning much existing green space and health research. It considers opportunities to move the field forward through exploring two often overlooked aspects of individual agency: the influence of shifting life circumstances on personal wellbeing priorities and place practices, and the role of personal orientations to nature in shaping how green space wellbeing opportunities are perceived and experienced. It suggests such efforts could provide more nuanced insights into the complex, personal factors that define and drive individual choices regarding the use of green spaces for wellbeing over time, thereby strengthening our understanding of the salutogenic potential (and limits) of green spaces.

KEYWORDS:

Connectedness with nature; Green space; Health; Individual agency; Wellbeing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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