The elderly in green spaces : understanding, mapping, and planning for nature-based recreation [article]

Chen Wen, University, My, University, My
The demographic structure of many cities in Europe and around the world is characterized by an increasing proportion of elderly people. This poses challenges for landscape planning: it must play greater attention to elderly people and provide opportunities to improve their quality of life through green spaces. Nature-based recreation (NBR) plays an essential role in elderly people's quality of life. It can improve their physical fitness, mental health, and social contact. Therefore, landscape
more » ... anning should be expected to respond to population aging by developing urban green spaces so that they can provide these multiple benefits to the elderly. However, elderly people's needs and preferences have attracted little attention in the planning of urban green spaces. First, with regard to elderly people's specific preferences for green spaces, existing knowledge is scattered and lacks an interpretation for planning purposes. Few studies have sought to achieve a systematic understanding either of elderly people's NBR preferences in different types of green spaces, or of the differences between the preferences of elderly groups and young groups. Secondly, it was unclear whether and how NBR opportunities of a city could be spatially assessed in order to create a basis for planning that better takes into account elderly people. Third, despite growing academic attention being paid to issues of environmental justice, the age perspective has not been closely examined, especially in terms of accessibility to urban green spaces. To fill the identified knowledge gaps, this thesis aims to provide a systematic understanding of elderly people's preferences for NBR, to spatially assess NBR opportunities and demands, and to investigate the equality in access to NBR for elderly people. The thesis is organized by the following research questions. The first question concerns the state of scientific knowledge and asks: (1) What landscape characteristics and green space features are preferred by elderly people? The second and third ques [...]
doi:10.15488/5159 fatcat:4rcvxi2hzrdhphj62x2phjcfce