The value of public green spaces in times of Covid-19

The value of public green spaces in times of Covid-19

By Fulvia Calcagni
on 2020-06-22
  • Research
  • Ecosystem services
  • Vulnerability
  • Indigenous and local knowledge

The possibility to perform outdoor physical recreation, to appreciate the scenic quality of a landscape and to enjoy outdoor time with friends and family are only some among the multiple benefits that can be enjoyed in public green spaces. Yet, unequal patterns of public green spaces access result in the unequal distribution of those benefits. 

Differences in age, gender, class and cultural background may have an influence on both the preference for some benefits and the physical or mental barriers that limit their accessibility. For example, while the Covid-19 lockdown measures are implying or implied similar barriers for all groups of the society to access any kind of benefit, generally different barriers act on different social groups or particular benefits. 

This study aims to understand the perceived benefits people obtain from public green spaces, their accessibility, infrastructural determinants (e.g. presence of shadowing vegetation, places for gathering, sense of security, etc.) and spatial and temporal patterns of uptake, also in relation to people’s social group of belonging. In addition, it explores the use people do of social media for communicating those same preferences and barriers and analyses the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown in changing people’s valuation of public green spaces benefits. 

Data is collected through an online survey developed on Maptionnaire and available in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German at this link:

The survey is directed to respondents over 18 years old and can last between 10 and 20 minutes. The results will inform decision making for a more sustainable and just landscape planning. 

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