Impact of environment on people’s everyday experiences in Stockholm

Author(s): Samuelsson, K., G. Matteo, G.D. Peterson, A. Legeby, S.A. Brandt, S. Barthel
In: Landscape and Urban Planning doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.11.009
Year: 2018
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Urban
Link to centre authors: Barthel, Stephan, Giusti, Matteo
Full reference: Samuelsson, K., G. Matteo, G.D. Peterson, A. Legeby, S.A. Brandt, S. Barthel. 2018. Impact of environment on people’s everyday experiences in Stockholm. Landscape and Urban Planning doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.11.009.

Summary

In order to construct urban environments that limit negative impacts for global sustainability while supporting human wellbeing, there is a need to better understand how features of the environment influence people’s everyday experiences. We present a novel method for studying this combining accessibility analysis and public participatory GIS (PPGIS). Seven environment features are defined and accessibility to them analysed across Stockholm municipality. We estimate the probabilities of positive and negative experiences in places based on these environment features, by using spatial regression to extrapolate from the results of an online PPGIS survey (1784 experiences of 1032 respondents). Six of the seven studied environment features have significant impact on experiential outcome, after accounting for spatial autocorrelation among the data. The results show that number of residents and proximity of nature environments and water, all common quality indicators in urban planning and research, have weak statistically significant effects on people’s experiences. However, areas dominated by large working populations or proximity to major roads have very low rates of positive experiences, while areas with high natural temperature regulating capacities have very high rates, showing that there are considerable qualitative differences within urban environments as well as nature environments. Current urban planning practices need to acknowledge these differences to limit impacts on the biosphere while promoting human wellbeing. We suggest that a good way to start addressing this is through transformation of negatively experienced urban areas through designs that integrate closeness to urbanity with possibilities to have nature experiences on a daily basis.

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