Perceptions of Nature and Access to Green Space in Four Urban Neighborhoods
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Health benefits have been linked to spending time outdoors in nature and green space. However, there is some evidence of inequities to accessing safe outdoor space, particularly in low-resource communities. The primary aim of this study is to assess attitudes towards nature and use of green space in urban areas. A secondary aim is to describe perceptions of physician-initiated nature prescriptions that target local pediatric populations. We conducted six focus group interviews with 42 residents who were guardians or caretakers of children living in low-resource neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA. We analyzed interview data using a conventional content analysis approach. Three major themes emerged: (1) perceived benefits of being in nature (physical and mental health benefits), (2) barriers to time spent in nature (unsafe and undesirable conditions of local parks), and (3) desired features of outdoor green spaces (amenities that would increase park use). Additionally, we describe participants' reactions to the idea of a pediatrician-delivered prescription for outdoor green space exposure for a child in their care. Adherence to nature prescriptions programs may hinge on local green space resources, as well as experiential and perceptual barriers and facilitators to nature and park accessibility among caregivers tasked with fulfilling a nature prescription for a child in their care.
Sefcik, Justine S.; Kondo, Michelle C.; Klusaritz, Heather; Sarantschin, Elisa; Solomon, Sara; Roepke, Abbey; South, Eugenia C.; Jacoby, Sara F. 2019. Perceptions of Nature and Access to Green Space in Four Urban Neighborhoods. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16(13): 2313. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132313.