The Importance of Connection and Creativity for Access to Greenspace

Marisa De Andrade, Rhiannon Bull

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract / Description of output

It’s widely understood that greenspace is important to our health. But while “access to greenspace” is typically assessed in terms of physical access, new research from the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the REALITIES consortium shows that this understanding excludes the experiences of people living in deprived rural communities, who may have physical access to greenspace but not see any health benefits due to a disconnection from their local landscape. Our findings from this research suggest: • “Access to greenspace” should not solely be understood in terms of physical access; other barriers, such as connection to greenspace, should also be prioritised in work in this area • Community members living in deprived areas in rural Scotland are particularly likely to encounter barriers to access rooted in disconnection from their local landscapes, despite being surrounded by nature • Creative-green interventions offer a means to restore this connection and offer a route for disconnected communities to re-engage with and benefit from their immediate natural environment • There is a need for more interventions which integrate creativity and the arts into efforts to reconnect people with nature, though these should be focused on the changing needs and wants of specific communities rather than “rolled out” to scale • We need to prioritise developing the evidence-base on both connection to greenspace in rural areas of poverty and the potential for creative-green interventions to facilitate connection to greenspace • Evidence, in this context, takes on many forms, most notably: the process of making art and being creative; the artwork itself (regardless of what it looks like); feelings and senses experienced in the body when out in nature; and connections formed through the act of coming together
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023


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