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Contesting longstanding conceptualisations of urban green space

Whitten, Meredith ORCID: 0000-0002-2738-0838 (2020) Contesting longstanding conceptualisations of urban green space. In: Dempsey, Nicola and Dobson, Julian, (eds.) Naturally Challenged: Contested Perceptions and Practices in Urban Green Spaces. Cities and Nature. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, Cham, CH, 87 - 116. ISBN 9783030444792

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-030-44480-8_5


Ever since the Victorian era saw the creation of “parks for the people,” health and wellbeing benefits have been considered a primary benefit of urban parks and green spaces. Today, public health remains a policy priority, with illnesses and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and depression a mounting concern, notably in increasingly urbanised environments. Urban green space often is portrayed as a nature-based solution for addressing such health concerns. In this chapter, Meredith Whitten investigates how the health and wellbeing benefits these spaces provide are limited by a narrow perspective of urban green space. Whitten explores how our understandings of urban green space remain rooted in Victorian ideals and calls into question how fit for purpose they are in twenty-first-century cities. Calling on empirical evidence collected in three boroughs in London with changing and increasing demographic populations, she challenges the long-held cultural underpinnings that lead to urban green space being portrayed “as a panacea to urban problems, yet treating it as a ‘cosmetic afterthought’” (Whitten, M, Reconceptualising green space: planning for urban green space in the contemporary city. Doctoral thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, U.K. Accessed 12 Jun 2019, 2019b, p 18).

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2020 13:30
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2024 21:09

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