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Nature exposure and use of open spaces in three generation families: implications for planning

Claire Freeman, Yvette Buttery and Yolanda van Heezik

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 4, 562-582

Abstract: Who uses open spaces, when, and why, are critical questions for planning and managing green and blue spaces in urban areas. We argue that use needs to be studied across a range of ages and spaces. We studied the open space use and preferences of 15 three-generation families, interviewing children, parents and grandparents. Members of each family lived close to each other so had access to the same open spaces, enabling identification of generational and family differences. Nature exposure levels varied between and within families, but all families valued and used natural spaces. Family members selected common spaces suggesting a family based preference and evidence of transmission of family values and attachment to places. Preferred open spaces were located some distance from participants’ homes and unevenly distributed across the city. Planners will need to consider how to better provide multi-purpose natural open spaces spread more evenly across the city.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1891870

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