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What Is Urban Nature and How Do We Perceive It?

Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the complexities and apparent contradictions in defining ‘nature’ and ‘urban nature’ in the context of human-nature interactions. It explains why urban nature is so important to human health and well-being at this point in the twenty first century, focusing particularly on why considering nature perception is crucial if we are to plan, design and manage urban nature to prioritise people’s aesthetic appreciation, health and well-being. Nature-perceptions are then framed in relation to diversity in nature: the role of varying biodiversity, perceived biodiversity and different aesthetics of nature (specifically flowering and colour , structure and care). The significance of varying socio-cultural and geographical contextual factors in nature perception is then highlighted. The chapter closes by addressing implications for policy and practice and future research directions in relation to urban nature perception . The author draws extensively from her own and related research.

Keywords

  • Aesthetic appreciation
  • Perceptions
  • Health and well-being
  • Cultural context
  • Biodiversity
  • Nature interaction

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Hoyle, H. (2020). What Is Urban Nature and How Do We Perceive It?. In: Dempsey, N., Dobson, J. (eds) Naturally Challenged: Contested Perceptions and Practices in Urban Green Spaces. Cities and Nature. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44480-8_2

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