Urban blue space renovation and local resident and visitor well-being: A case study from Plymouth, UK

Nicole van den Bogerd*, Lewis R. Elliot*, Mathew P. White*, Himansu Sekhar Mishra*, Simon Bell*, Miriam Porter, Zoë Sydenham*, Joanne K. Garrett*, Lora E. Fleming*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Observational studies have suggested that people with better access to attractive, safe, and inclusive blue spaces enjoy higher psychological well-being, with particular benefits for those living in deprived urban areas. However, intervention studies are scarce. To help bridge this gap we conducted a repeat cross-sectional study exploring local resident and visitor well-being before and after a small-scale intervention aimed at improving the quality of an urban beach area in a deprived neighbourhood in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Physical alterations were co-created with local stakeholders and residents, and accompanied by a series of on-site community events. Key outcomes were self-reported psychological well-being, satisfaction with personal safety and community belonging, and perceptions of site quality. Adjusted linear models showed that positive well-being (B = 7.42; 95% CI = 4.18–10.67) and life satisfaction (B = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.11–0.70) were both higher after the intervention compared to before, with associations for life satisfaction stronger among those who visited the site in the last four weeks. Associations with positive well-being were partially mediated by greater satisfaction with community belonging; and associations with life satisfaction were partially and independently mediated by greater satisfaction with personal safety and community belonging. Although caution needs to be taken due to the repeat cross-sectional design and the sampling of site visitors as well as local residents, the findings support the idea that environmental improvements to urban blue spaces can foster better psychological well-being, and underline the importance of community involvement in the process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104232
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Early online date25 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • blue space
  • blue health
  • urban beach
  • intervention
  • urban acupuncture


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