Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space

Voelker S, Matros J, Claßen T (2016)
ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES 75(13): 1067.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Blue space can be regarded as a key component of urban development as it contributes to sustainability, landscape contextualisation, environmental quality, quality of life and human health. However, existing studies on urban blue spaces do not differentiate between size and type of space and do not explain the mechanisms of how urban blue spaces interact with appropriations that affect health. In our study, we chose seven urban open spaces in Germany with different types of urban blue (in the cities of Bielefeld, Gelsenkirchen, Dusseldorf, Cologne). We conducted standardised qualitative interviews with n = 211 urban blue space visitors, assessing their health-related appropriations of those spaces (use, experience, social, meaning). Via Correspondence Analysis, we profiled these seven spaces. Our results show that blue experience is an important appropriation in urban open spaces. The amount of green and blue space has a significant influence on health-related appropriative processes. Health-related appropriations shift with the profile of the blue urban open space and the proportion of land the blue space covers. Even in cities with few water features, urban blue induces intensive (restorative) experiences, creates meaning, attracts urban dwellers, promotes physical activity, and diversifies health experiences in urban contexts. We identify implications for public health, urban planning and landscape design. This paper is a valuable contribution to the current research trend in Germany to analyse the significance for human health and well-being of bodies of water in urban areas.
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Voelker S, Matros J, Claßen T. Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES. 2016;75(13): 1067.
Voelker, S., Matros, J., & Claßen, T. (2016). Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, 75(13): 1067.
Voelker, S., Matros, J., and Claßen, T. (2016). Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES 75:1067.
Voelker, S., Matros, J., & Claßen, T., 2016. Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, 75(13): 1067.
S. Voelker, J. Matros, and T. Claßen, “Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space”, ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 75, 2016, : 1067.
Voelker, S., Matros, J., Claßen, T.: Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES. 75, : 1067 (2016).
Voelker, Sebastian, Matros, Jasmin, and Claßen, Thomas. “Determining urban open spaces for health-related appropriations: a qualitative analysis on the significance of blue space”. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES 75.13 (2016): 1067.
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