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COVID-19-induced visitor boom reveals the importance of forests as critical infrastructure

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Abstract

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the globe have implemented a certain degree of lockdown, restricting citizens' freedom of movement and freedom of assembly. This article aims to illustrate the impact that the measures against the spread of COVID-19 have on forest recreation, building on a study in an urban context around Bonn (Germany) that was conducted between April 2019 and February 2020. The quantitative and qualitative data on urban forest visits from that study were supplemented with new census data supported by selected expert interviews. We found that visitor numbers since the inception of COVID-19 measures in March 2020 have more than doubled. Visitor patterns have drastically shifted, from an even distribution throughout the day with small peaks before and after office hours to a culmination in the late afternoon. Lastly, the interviewed forestry professionals have noted that a new set of visitors, i.e. young people, families with children and non-locals, has arrived to the forest. This influx of more and novice visitors poses challenges for forest managers and urban forest policy. It is, however, also a unique opportunity for a substantial engagement of forestry with society at large, that has implications for forest policy, especially in urban areas, possibly beyond the COVID-19 pandemic era.

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... During the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders and concerns about the risks of disease transmission have potentially decreased both the availability and perceived accessibility of greenspace. While emerging research documents changes to greenspace use (Ugolini et al., 2020) and the demographic profiles of park users (Derks et al., 2020;Rice and Pan, 2020;Uchiyama and Kohsaka, 2020), recent studies also document increases in the number of people going to greenspaces (Derks et al., 2020;Fisher and Grima, 2020;Rice and Pan, 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2021). It remains to be seen whether changes to availability, perceived accessibility, and frequency of use in a time of stress translate into changes in the ecosystem services provided by greenspace, including individual SWB. ...
... During the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders and concerns about the risks of disease transmission have potentially decreased both the availability and perceived accessibility of greenspace. While emerging research documents changes to greenspace use (Ugolini et al., 2020) and the demographic profiles of park users (Derks et al., 2020;Rice and Pan, 2020;Uchiyama and Kohsaka, 2020), recent studies also document increases in the number of people going to greenspaces (Derks et al., 2020;Fisher and Grima, 2020;Rice and Pan, 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2021). It remains to be seen whether changes to availability, perceived accessibility, and frequency of use in a time of stress translate into changes in the ecosystem services provided by greenspace, including individual SWB. ...
... Though prior research suggests that population density does not have an effect on the relationship between greenspace and SWB (Maas et al., 2006;Dennis and James, 2017;Coldwell and Evans, 2018), these studies were undertaken during normal (i.e., non-pandemic) conditions. Given contemporaneous research on greenspace accessibility and usage (Derks et al., 2020;Fisher and Grima, 2020;Rice and Pan, 2020;Ugolini et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2021), and anecdotal accounts of park closures and crowding in cities across the country, we expected to find residents of higher density areas and those without access to private greenspace to have higher perceived risk of going outdoors and lower SWB, particularly while outside. Likewise, while previous research on the effects of public vs. private greenspace are mixed (Maat and de Vries, 2006;Lin B. B. et al., 2014), during the COVID-19 pandemic, private greenspace seems to play an important role in compensating for decreased accessibility of public greenspace and maintaining individuals' SWB (Poortinga et al., 2021). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how the accessibility of greenspace can shift in response to social-ecological disturbance, and generated questions as to how changing dimensions of accessibility affect the ecosystem services of greenspace, such as improved subjective well-being. Amidst the growing consensus of the important role of greenspace in improving and maintaining well-being through times of duress, we examine how access to greenspace is affecting subjective well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the relationship of greenspace to subjective well-being and the barriers to greenspace access are well-established for normal conditions. Much remains to be known, however, about how barriers to access and the effect of greenspace on subjective well-being shift in response to periods of social duress, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from surveys and interviews conducted with 1,200 university students in the United States during the spring of 2020, we assess the effect of going outdoors on subjective well-being, commonly experienced barriers to going outside, and how these barriers in turn affected subjective well-being. We find that time spent outside, particularly in greenspace, correlates with higher levels of subjective well-being, and that concern over COVID-19 risk and transmission negatively affects this relationship both in reducing time spent outdoors and the subjective well-being benefits. We also find that type of greenspace (public vs. private) does not have a significant effect on subjective well-being, that while those in areas with lower population density have significantly higher subjective well-being when outdoors, all participants experience a statistically equal benefit to subjective well-being by going outside. Our findings suggest how understanding the ways dimensions of accessibility shift in response to times of social duress can aid public health messaging, the design and management of greenspace, and environmental justice efforts to support the use of greenspace in improving and maintaining subjective well-being during future crisis events.
... Of course, there were concerns over the risk of spreading the disease from one person to another. Nevertheless, [2,3,26,27] showed a sharp decline in the pandemic, while forest visitors showed a sharp increase. ...
... Key observations [26] show that under the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany the levels of forest visits have experienced an unprecedented boom, revealing forests as a critical infrastructure for society at large. There are a number of possible reasons for this boom: people have more time available, more flexibility, more pressure at home, but also fewer alternative pastimes. ...
... Given the said levels of COVID-19 and mental health issues related [13][14][15]17,18], forest ecosystems services through scenery viewing, walking, riding, or jogging through the recreational areas [3,4,26,27,[60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72] offer relief. Geng et al. [2] demonstrated a significant increase in the forest visit during the COVID-19. ...
Article
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Forest ecosystems provide numerous services and benefits to both humans and biodiversity. Similarly, urban forests services play a vital role by providing urban dwellers with recreational and leisure space, mental health relief, and meditation. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, many people living in the urban areas could benefit from the forest and park recreational services to relieve psychological stress due to lockdown rules. The study examined existing literature simultaneously; however, very few studies have presented the relationships between forest services’ role on COVID-19 stress relief. Furthermore, we examined forest visitors’ frequency at the Training Forest Enterprise (TFE) Masaryk Forest Křtiny in the outskirts of Brno City in the Czech Republic. The study collected data using a TRAFx infrared trail counter before the pandemic (2015–2018) and during the COVID-19 period (2021). As in other studies of the subject, we observed an increasing trend in forest visits during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021, compared to the same months before the pandemic in 2016 and 2017. We recommend further research to focus on scientific analysis of the relationship between forest ecosystem services and COVID-19 stress and mental health. Moreover, given the spike in visitors during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021 in March and April, our data provide evidence regarding the role of nature for relieving stress and supporting mental and physical health. Policy, decision-makers and medical advisors could use such data and study to guide future lockdowns and pandemic situations regarding nature and forest recreational use and importance.
... Derks, Giessen, and Winkel [27] compared the number of visitors to forests in Germany before and during the introduction of restrictions and mandates against COVID-19. The scientists concluded that the numbers of visitors to the forests doubled. ...
... The increase in the number of people visiting forests is a challenge for those who manage forests as well as for urban forest policy [27]. The boom of visitors generates the need for integrated forest management [38] that can respond directly to the social need and will be suited to people's needs and expectations. ...
... The boom of visitors generates the need for integrated forest management [38] that can respond directly to the social need and will be suited to people's needs and expectations. The strategy should be based on the understanding that management measures are essential to deliver various ecosystem services needed by society [27]. In this context, it seems especially important to canvass popular opinion about the forest and forest recreation. ...
Article
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Attitudes towards forest ecosystems have been changing together with human needs, which is amplified with society’s increasing need to spend recreation time in the forest. The phenomenon has been particularly visible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to determine the attitude of Poles to forests during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research was based on (1) a sociodemographic background questionnaire that consisted of questions about the independent variables and (2) the LAS scale—an independently prepared tool for measuring attitudes towards the forest. In the survey, 1025 people participated (673 women). The age of the subjects was between 19 and 68. The attitude towards the forest was analysed in three dimensions: Benefits, Involvement, and Fears. The Mann–Whitney U test and Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance by ranks were used for statistical analysis. Women and people with primary education expressed the most fears connected with going to the forest. Men and people living in the countryside and in small towns, as well as respondents who were professionally active and performing work connected with forests were the most involved in exploring the forest and working for its benefit. Concerning the forest, concerned women, people from the highest age group, respondents with university education, and white-collar workers notice the most benefits from recreational activities in the forest.
... The work essentially means re-setting social and environmental carrying capacity levels with fewer conflicts and greater satisfaction levels as a result. Derks, Giessen, and Winkel (2020) discuss daily management challenges and opportunities specifically. Challenges include receiving many more visitors and often new visitors (especially younger people, families, and non-locals) over a short time, especially during the season with less staff available. ...
... New recreationists and the general increase in participation by regular participants combined have impacted new spatial distribution patterns. One group that has traditionally been less represented in outdoor recreation statistics, the youngest adult age group (Fredman et al. 2011), has increased in participation, as also emphasized by Derks, Giessen, and Winkel (2020). In their case, the desire for recreation can be seen as a possible sign of fatigue and restlessness in a time of (social) isolation. ...
... At best, displaced recreationists will eventually accept redistributional changes and continue pursuing their interests in new areas. At worst, the difference can lead to an increased risk of conflict as groups compete for different experiences; some recreationists may resent displacement and may suffer from loss of place identity or severed place attachment, as discussed by Jacobs et al. (2020), Derks, Giessen, and Winkel (2020) and Galway et al. (2019). ...
Article
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This paper reports results from three studies concerning outdoor recreation participation and trends during the Covid-19 pandemic in Sweden. The studies, undertaken at national, regional and local levels, used surveys, interviews and PPGIS approaches, to build a solid knowledge base. Results are analyzed with particular attention given to management and policy implications based on the following observations: increased outdoor recreation participation, changes in lifestyle and routines, new visitor profiles and activity trends, spatial changes, visitor displacement, spatial redistribution, and indications of post-pandemic outdoor recreation behavior. The Swedish case is of special interest because of high accessibility to nature areas and few restrictions to recreate in nature due to the pandemic. Hence, this study could serve as a reference for other countries with more Covid-19 related restrictions and less accessible nature for recreation.
... Moreover, there were also increases in the actual exposures to nature. A German case study compared park use from early spring 2019 to 2020 and found that there was a 140% increase in visits to forested areas, mainly by new visitors [23]. In Oslo, Norway, both pedestrian and cycling recreational activities increased 291% during the lockdown period in March 2020 compared to the same dates in the previous three years [24]. ...
... Do participants feel like they are spending more time in nature than before the pandemic? The research suggests that our student sample will report spending more time in nature, which is consistent with the pandemic trend of seeking out natural environments [21][22][23][24][25][26]. Additionally, a preprint review of studies on nature contact during the pandemic found that the majority of the studies reviewed reported increases in time spent in nature, but that one out of every three studies reported a decrease in time spent in nature [32]. ...
... Unlike several other nature pandemic studies [23,24,26,53], on average, our participants did not report spending significantly more time in nature. They did report spending more time in green spaces, specifically, and they also indicated that they appreciated nature more, feared it less, and noticed wildlife slightly more as a result of the pandemic. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our economy, social lives, and mental health, and it therefore provides a unique chance for researchers to examine how people cope with changes to their everyday activities. Research suggests that people may be spending more time in nature than they did pre-pandemic. The current study sheds light on how nature is being used to cope with the stresses of the global health crisis and lockdowns. Canadian undergraduate students (N = 559) filled out a questionnaire during the fall of 2020 about their pandemic experience, including their affects, life satisfaction, and feelings of flourishing and vitality, in addition to a wide variety of nature variables. The weekly exposures, the perceived increases or decreases in the exposure to nature during the pandemic, and the feelings of connectedness (nature relatedness) were assessed. Those who felt like they were spending more time in nature than they did pre-pandemic experienced more subjective well-being. Nature-related individuals were more likely to access nature and to appreciate it more during the pandemic than others, but all people (even those less connected) experienced well-being benefits from spending more time in nature. Going into nature appears to be an increasingly popular and effective coping strategy to boost or maintain subjective well-being during the pandemic.
... Outdoor recreation is thought to have a positive effect on psychophysical health and community wellbeing (Barton & Pretty, 2010;Cheng et al., 2021;Kaplan et al., 1998;Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989;Lesser & Nienhuis, 2020;Morse et al., 2020). Nevertheless, ensuring safe access to public open spaces during COVID -19 pandemic became an issue and a subject of intensive international debate (Derks et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2020;Volenec et al., 2021). During the first lockdown periods, many countries restricted public access to outdoor recreational facilities in order to reduce the number of contacts with other people while preventing the spread of infectious disease (Lewtak & Nitsch-Osuch, 2021;Volenec et al., 2021). ...
... In the tourism industry, a shift from international to domestic tourism and a preference for local and regional destinations was observed (Abbas et al., 2021;Neuburger & Egger, 2021;Volgger et al., 2021;Wut et al., 2021). An increase in day trips and participation in local recreational activities has also been recently reported in many destinations worldwide (Derks et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2020;Ugolini et al., 2021;Weinbrenner et al., 2021). ...
... Stringent lockdown measures at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (#stay at home) have shown that people cannot stay at home for extended periods of time without negative side effects and therefore the importance of local and neighbourhood open spaces as well as nearby outdoor recreation destinations have become critically important (Dushkova et al., 2021;Kleinschroth & Kowarik, 2020;Weinbrenner et al., 2021). During COVID-19 pandemic public access to forest areas has been the subject of severe discussions at national and international levels and was changing over pandemic period throughout the world (Derks et al., 2020;Pichlerová et al., 2021;Venter et al., 2020;Weinbrenner et al., 2021). Furthermore, some local restrictions concerning recreational use of specific infrastructure type, such as resting places, picnic spots or related to specific activities were introduced. ...
Article
The COVID -19 pandemic posed serious challenge for securing public health worldwide. Public health preparedness and restrictions put in place impacted many aspects of human life, including recreational activities and access to outdoor recreational destinations. Green spaces have become one of the few sources of resilience during the coronavirus crisis due to their restorative effects on psychophysical health and community well-being. The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on forest visitation. The results are based upon long-term visitor data acquired via pyroelectric sensors (Eco-Counter) in three forest districts located in Poland (Browsk, Gdansk & Kozienice Forest Districts). The analysis covers the period between 01.01.2019 and 31.12.2020 and the results confirm changes in recreational use in the studied forest areas during the pandemic compared to the preceding year. However, observed changes in forest visitation vary by pandemic period and study area. The ban on access to forest areas significantly reduced the number of forest visits in all studied areas. The number of visits to sub-urban forests (Gdansk Forest District) and to remote nature-based tourist destinations (Browsk Forest District) increased in the later pandemic periods, especially in the summer months of 2020, while it remained the same in a popular nearby recreation area: Kozienice Forest District. There were only minor temporal shifts in the distribution of weekly and daily visits. The results are important for public health preparedness planning in crisis situations and for provisioning conditions supporting societal health and wellbeing. Objective data on forest visits are necessary for successful management of forest areas and surrounding amenities. More cross-sector collaboration and public participation would be desirable to create sustainable, resilient, and liveable spaces for the society.
... As the pandemic progressed, many leaders and health organizations encouraged and promoted the use of the outdoors (Randall, 2020;Wang, 2020). As a result, PPA visitation skyrocketed as individuals began to discover and/or re-remember their local natural resources (Carr, 2020;Derks et al., 2020;Goodnow & Mackenzie, 2020;OIA, 2021;Rice et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020). For example, the National Forests of New England saw an approximately 60% increase in visitation during the summer months of 2020 (Ferguson et al., 2022). ...
... PPA managers were hurriedly forced to modify protocols to adhere to changing and inconsistent state and federal pandemic mandates which often resulted in various forms of visitor conflict and crowding (Derks et al., 2020;Langlois, 2020;Venter et al., 2020). For instance, at one point in 2020 the federal government was encouraging outdoor recreation, while various state governments were simultaneously closing PPAs, sending mixed signals to visitors (Center for Disease Control CDC, 2020;VOREC, 2020). ...
... Although this is a positive development, the long-term challenges of accessibility, engagement, and equity faced by marginalized populations continue to prevail in PPAs (OIA, 2021). Ultimately, the impact of the pandemic upon historically marginalized populations within outdoor recreation may have lasting and long-term positive effects upon diversity and equity related to public health, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity (Derks et al., 2020;Hautamaki, 2020;Powers et al., 2020;Rice et al., 2020). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected parks and protected areas and overall recreation visitation across the United States. While outdoor recreation has been demonstrated to be beneficial, especially during a pandemic, the resulting increase in recreation visitation raises concerns regarding the broader influence of social, situational, ecological, and behavioral factors upon overall visitor experiences. This study investigated the extent to which recreation visitors’ behaviors and experiences have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic within the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). A modified drop-off pick-up survey method was employed to collect population-level data from WMNF visitors from June to August of 2020 (n=317), at the height of the pandemic. Results from this mixed-method study suggest social factors (e.g., crowding and conflict), situational factors (e.g., access and closures), ecological factors (e.g., vegetation damage), behavioral factors (e.g., substitution), and sociodemographic factors (e.g., gender and income) significantly influenced overall visitor decision-making and experience quality within the WMNF. For example, more than one-third of visitors indicated the pandemic had either a major or severe impact upon their WMNF recreation experience. A more nuanced investigation of qualitative data determined that the majority of pandemic-related recreation impacts revolved around the themes of social impacts, general negative recreation impacts, situational and ecological impacts, and behavioral adaptation impacts. Moreover, historically marginalized populations (e.g., low-income households and females) within the sample reported significantly higher recreation experience impacts during the pandemic. This study demonstrates the influence of the pandemic upon outdoor recreation visitor experiences and behaviors and considers outdoor recreation as a central component within the broader social-ecological systems framework. This study demonstrates the influence of the pandemic upon outdoor recreation visitor experiences and behaviors and considers resource users a central component within the broader social-ecological systems conceptual framework. Management implications This study found that during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, social, situational, ecological, behavioral, and sociodemographic factors significantly influenced overall visitor decision-making andexperience quality: · Social and general recreation impacts were most common, with approximately 56% of the sample reporting these issues. · Results suggest significant crowding and conflict impacts stemmed from interactions between in-state and out-of-state visitors, largely based upon perceived violations of pandemic protocols. · Moreover, historically marginalized populations stated unique recreation impacts during the pandemic. For instance, visitors from low-income households reported significantly less substitution options as opposed to high-income visitors. · Female visitors perceived significantly more pandemic-related conflict than male visitors. Study findings suggest visitor crowding and conflict should be prioritized by resource managers, especially amongst historically marginalized populations. Resource managers should consider adopting a broader social-ecological systems approach to parks and protected areas management, particularly during a global pandemic.
... In some cases, illness or forced isolation may have prevented people from visiting nearby nature. Alternatively, adoption of remote working policies may have increased some individuals' available time for nature interactions in their neighborhood (Derks et al., 2020;Soga et al., 2021). At the same time, it is also possible that motivation to interact with nature was affected; there is some evidence that the importance of nature experiences increased during the lockdowns (da Schio et al., 2021;Rousseau and Deschacht, 2020). ...
... Recent research efforts have focused on exploring such changes in nature interactions during the pandemic. However, existing studies either relied on perceived changes in nature interactions (Grima et al., 2020;Randler et al., 2020) or measured changes through indirect data on green spaces visitation (e.g., mobile phone geolocation) (Day, 2020;Derks et al., 2020). To date, no longitudinal study, to our knowledge, has compared experiences of nature before and during the lockdowns, among the same individuals. ...
... The COVID-19 pandemic largely modified our interactions with nature (Soga et al., 2021). While previous studies found both increases and decreases (e.g., Day, 2020;Derks et al., 2020) in nature interactions during the pandemic, our repeated surveys among the same individuals provided empirical evidence of a large decrease in urban nature experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown. Contrasting results across studies may be due to cultural differences in human-nature relationships, as people use and value nature differently across cultures . ...
Article
Nature provides a myriad of intangible and non-material services to people. However, urbanites are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. The consequences of this progressive disconnection from nature remain difficult to measure as this process is slow and long-term monitoring or large-scale manipulation on nature experiences are scarce. Measures to contain the spread of the recent COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., lockdowns) have potentially reduced or even suppressed nature experiences in cities. This situation provided an opportunity for conducting a longitudinal study that can serve as a sort of natural experiment to quantify the effects of nature deprivation on individuals' health, well-being and relationship to nature. We collected data on these variables from the same individuals inhabiting a large metropolis (Tel Aviv, Israel) twice, in 2018 (before) and during the lockdown in 2020. Our results confirmed that frequency, duration and quality of nature interactions dropped during the lockdown, while environmental attitudes and affinity towards nature remained similar. This was particularly true for people living in the least green neighborhoods, where a significant decrease in personal and social well-being was also found. Finally, affinity towards nature influenced well-being through nature experiences in 2018. The mediation effect was not significant in 2020, probably due to the decrease in nature experiences during the lockdown, but the direct relationship between affinity towards nature and well-being remained strong. These results provide insights into the means required to align the public health and conservation agendas to safeguard urbanites' health and well-being during a pandemic and mitigate the biodiversity crisis.
... Suddenly, millions of Americans were presented with unprecedented amounts of discretionary free time. As a result, many sought the outdoors and flocked in dramatic numbers to PPAs (Brode 2020;Carr 2020;Derks, Giessen, and Winkel 2020;Landry et al. 2021). For instance, early in the pandemic more than 40% of Americans planned to recreate more (Brode 2020;LNT 2020), trail map mobile phone application usage increased by more than 100% (Hirschler 2020), hunting license sales in some states more than tripled when compared with previous years, and the sale and demand for outdoor recreation equipment increased exponentially (OIA 2021). ...
... In some instances, however, the pandemic may have positively changed outdoor recreation visitor experiences (Rice et al. 2020). Numerous studies have asserted the pandemic served as a motivator for increased visitation within PPAs, resulting in a rediscovery of often forgotten natural environments (Carr 2020;Derks, Giessen, and Winkel 2020;Venter et al. 2020). For many, these circumstances led to a renewed interest in local PPAs (Carr 2020;NPS 2020;OIA 2021) as visitors re-discovered the physical, mental, and social benefits provided by the outdoors (Rice et al. 2020). ...
... Moreover, research indicates the pandemic may have long-term and lasting impacts upon recreation experiences, effectively increasing future PPA visitation, instilling new visitors with a sense of stewardship, retaining younger participants, diversifying recreation activities, and increasing conservation related donations (Derks, Giessen, and Winkel 2020;LNT 2020;Rice et al. 2020). For example, many PPAs saw an increasing presence of new user segments and demographics, specifically amongst historically marginalized populations (OIA 2021). ...
... Qiu et al. (2013) Loc et al. (2018) en Vietnam estudiaron las relaciones entre las características integrales de las áreas verdes y la percepción de sus usuarios. Por su parte, Derks et al. (2020) en Alemania y Venter et al. (2021) en Noruega se centraron particularmente en la percepción y preferencias de usuarios en el contexto de pandemia de COVID-19. Si bien en Latinoamérica el número de trabajos relacionados con este tema es más acotado, diversos autores han abordado integralmente la percepción de los usuarios sobre la calidad ecológica y pública de espacios verdes: Ureña Santos y Barrientos (2017) En el Área Metropolitana de Neuquén (AMN), ubicada en la provincia homónima y asentada sobre los valles y mesetas de los ríos Limay y Neuquén, se promueve a nivel metropolitano un plan de consolidación de un Área Recreativa Costera Metropolitana. ...
... En este sentido, Loc et al. (2018) señalaron que la accesibilidad a los EVP no solo responde a distancia física, sino que está mediada por otros múltiples factores históricos, culturales y relacionados con atractivos icónicos o particulares. Por su parte, Derks et al. (2020) y Venter et al. (2021, que estudiaron los patrones de uso de la infraestructura verde en el contexto de pandemia de COVID-19 en Bonn (Alemania) y Oslo (Noruega), respectivamente, evidenciaron que los bosques y áreas naturales periurbanas mostraron aumentos más pronunciados de actividad luego del bloqueo en marzo de 2020 en relación a parques urbanos. En función de ello, los autores coinciden en que los EVP periurbanos representan infraestructura crítica para el bienestar y el funcionamiento general de la sociedad. ...
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El conocimiento de la percepción y preferencias de los usuarios de frentes de agua y en particular de frentes fluviales es fundamental para su diseño y gestión sostenible. El objetivo de este trabajo es establecer relaciones entre diferentes tipologías de espacios verdes públicos (EVP) ribereños sobre el frente fluvial del río Limay en las ciudades de Neuquén y Plottier y la percepción que los usuarios tienen sobre ellos. Para tal fin, se seleccionaron cinco EVP y se clasificaron según la metodología “Espectro de Oportunidades Recreativas''. Posteriormente se apreció la percepción y usos de los EVP de interés mediante una encuesta virtual a sus usuarios. Por último, se analizó la existencia de relaciones entre la percepción de los participantes y los tipos de EVP a través de un análisis estadístico descriptivo no paramétrico. Los resultados muestran una elección preferencial de los participantes por EVP de tipo moderno. A su vez, sugieren que las diversas tipologías de EVP no conllevan necesariamente a diferencias en la experimentación de la naturaleza subjetiva, mientras que la calidad del espacio público tiene un gran peso en la experiencia recreativa.
... People who visit urban nature more frequently and for longer periods of time tend to have higher contentment with their lives, improved social cohesion, lower rates of depression, and increased rates of physical activity (Shanahan et al., 2015(Shanahan et al., , 2016Xie et al., 2020;Yigitcanlar et al., 2020). Some studies demonstrated that visitation frequency and demand for urban nature generally increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2021;Robinson et al., 2021;Weinbrenner et al., 2021), while others indicated that it tended to decrease (Xie et al., 2020;Curtis et al., 2021;Larson et al., 2021) or had very little change particularly in semi-natural and natural areas (Korpilo et al., 2021). As countries continue to adaptively manage their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still research gaps regarding which factors may impact urban nature visitation during this time and future crises (Venter et al., 2020;Korpilo et al., 2021). ...
... Our study examined a range of social and environmental factors associated with the frequency of urban nature site visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that urban nature site visitation decreased for the majority of our participants during the pandemic, which is consistent with some studies (Xie et al., 2020;Curtis et al., 2021;Larson et al., 2021), but contrary to other research that showed a relative increase in visitation frequency during the pandemic (Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020). We also found that only 1.7% of our participants were first-time visitors to urban nature sites, which was far lower than another study that showed that 45% of previous non-users of urban green space were first-time users during the pandemic restrictions period (Berdejo-Espinola et al., 2021). ...
Article
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Urban nature sites are crucial places for the promotion of human health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are few interdisciplinary studies that simultaneously investigate the impact of a range of social and environmental factors on potential shifts in urban nature site visitation. We sought to do this by analyzing both geospatial data of the amenities and environmental features of urban nature sites with a web-based survey of urban nature site visitation in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. We found that 53% of surveyed participants decreased visitation during the pandemic, while 26% increased visitation, 21% had no change, and only 1.7% were first-time visitors of urban nature sites. We developed a multiple linear regression model for shifts in visitation frequency during the pandemic, and found that a relative increase in visitation was positively associated with higher ratings of the physical and mental health contribution of the urban nature sites, higher nature maintenance and accessibility ratings, and visiting with a spouse, but negatively associated with variables such as car transportation, visit length, shrub habitat, age, and visiting alone or for romantic dates. Our results suggest that the perceived health benefits and accessibility of urban nature sites could be key in motivating visitation during the pandemic more than the specific environmental features or amenities of these sites. Given the on-going threats of the pandemic and other environmental crises, it is imperative to continue supporting the creation, maintenance, and monitoring of urban nature sites for not only urban ecosystems and biodiversity, but also so that they can contribute to the health of all urban residents.
... Osti and Nava (2020) study destination loyalty during the pandemic and show that the most risk-sensitive tourists are less likely to visit seaside destinations, prioritizing mountain destinations instead. In this sense, the studies by Derks et al. (2020) and Day (2020) also report an increased preference towards outdoor activities in greenspaces. This can be explained by the psychotherapeutic benefits of nature-based tourism (Buckley and Westaway, 2020), which is expected to become one of the most important market segments in the post-COVID-19 recovery. ...
... The desire to avoid crowded spaces because of the risks of contagion and the absence of festivals or special events in the main cities of Asturias might have caused people to travel more within the region and to partake in more outdoor activities. This is in line with evidence by Day (2020), Osti and Nava (2020) and Derks et al. (2020) showing that the pandemic has increased individuals' desire to recreate in greenspaces, forests and remote locations. The invariance of expenses in food and beverage could be due to counteracting factors. ...
Article
This study evaluates the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourists’ length of stay and daily expenditures at a destination. The paper compares detailed microdata for visitors to a Northern Spanish region in the summer periods of 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2020 (after the pandemic outbreak). We estimate the pandemic-induced impacts on the length of stay and expenditures per person for several categories using regression adjustment, inverse probability weighting regression and propensity score matching. We find clear evidence of a drop in the length of stay of around 1.26 nights, representing a 23.8% decline. We also show that, although total expenditures per person and day have remained constant, there has been a change in the allocations for categories in the tourism budget.
... A study by Weinbrenner et al. [36] confirmed the critical importance of urban forests during lockdowns. The increase in attendance in selected forests in connection with the coronavirus pandemic was confirmed in European localities by [28,29,32]. Wunder et al. [37] also pointed to a change in the behaviour of visitors, when not only the time of forest visits during the day changed, but also the presence of visitors who did not visit forests at all before the COVID-19 pandemic (especially young people, people with a place of residence outside the monitored locality). ...
... This is, probably, comparable to our results, which show that the group of people who did not visit the forest at all in 2020 has significantly decreased. Derks et al. [28] stated that occasional visitors, however, are not aware of how to behave in the forest. Therefore, it is necessary to increase not only their awareness, but also to create conditions for the implementation of the necessary forestry activities in the forest, and, at the same time, to be accessible to visitors-we recommend performing work in the forest early in the morning, because it is around this time when there are few visitors. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic affected people all over the world, including the Czech Republic (CZ). In the CZ, a number of measures were applied in 2020 to reduce the contact between people and their mobility. This article dealt with the importance of forests during the pandemic. Data from 2019 and 2020 were compared. The qualitative data were obtained from two nationwide surveys, the first focused on forest attendance and forest fruit collection (about 1000 respondents per year), the second on the motivation to visit the forests (about 3700 respondents per year). The quantitative data were obtained on the regional level by analysing data from mobility counters. The impact of government restrictions was assessed. Findings: (1) there was a significant increase in the number of people who frequently visited the forest in 2020; (2) in 2020, the amount of households that collected forest fruits increased and was the highest for the monitored period; (3) the increased forest attendance significantly corresponded to the government restrictions. The analysis confirmed the great importance of forests for the citizens and, at the same time, the increased pressure on the forests’ use—forest attendance and forest crops picking—(especially suburban ones) in times of COVID-19 restrictions.
... We tested how those measures differed for respondents who were female, low-income, or nonwhite, compared to those who were male, higher income, or white. Many of the studies on nature use during the pandemic use convenience sampling and acknowledge their samples' bias toward high-income or frequent nature users (e.g., Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Maurer et al., 2021). The goal of our study is to provide evidence from a demographically representative sample on changes in nature access during the COVID-19 pandemic along gender, income, and racial divides, and whether the pandemic seems to have exacerbated or assuaged prior inequalities. ...
... These results provide a new lens with which to view studies highlighting increases in nature use during the pandemic (e.g., Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2021). While those aggregate numbers suggest people may have increased their nature exposure during the pandemic, we find the opposite to be true overall and especially among more vulnerable groups. ...
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Time in nature is associated with a range of physical and psychological benefits. These benefits tend to be unevenly distributed, with non-white and low-income communities often having lower access to nature than richer, more white neighborhoods. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in Spring 2020, changes in daily routines, restrictions on public nature access, and risk perceptions may have affected whether and how much people spent time in nature. We explore how nature access changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how those changes were experienced by different demographic groups. We surveyed representative samples of California and New York residents ( n = 2,036) in May and June of 2020 and examined differences in nature access and nature-related COVID restrictions and risks by gender, income and race. We find that, on average, the pandemic was associated with reductions in frequency of nature access and less time in nature for all respondents. However, these trends were greatest for women, people of color and people who are low-income. Moreover, the pandemic seems to have widened prior inequalities: low-income and non-white people accessed nature even less frequently and had fewer nature access options than they did prior to the pandemic. Given the disparities in broader pandemic impacts by gender, income, and race, these results further demonstrate the inequalities laid bare by COVID-19.
... The critical role of green space in supporting physical and mental wellbeing also during lockdown clearly emerged in those cities where access was allowed. In Oslo, for example, outdoor recreational activity increased by 291% during lockdown (Venter, Barton, Gundersen, Figari, & Nowell, 2020), while forest visitors around Bonn more than doubled since the start of the pandemic (Derks, Giessen, & Winkel, 2020). A survey conducted among people from 9 countries revealed that those who had restricted access to outdoor public spaces were more likely to show symptoms of mental health disorders than those who experienced partial or no restriction (Pouso et al., 2021). ...
... During the COVID-19 pandemic, several studies focused on the perception and use of urban green areas and revealed an increase in parks visitation, and outdoor recreation in general (Derks, Giessen, & Winkel, 2020;Venter, Barton, Gundersen, Figari, & Nowell, 2020;Lopez, Kennedy, & McPhearson, 2020). The vital contribution of green space to urban dwellers' physical and mental wellbeing, also as a measure to mitigate urban inequalities, clearly emerged from this body of research. ...
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During the COVID-19 emergency, cities around the world introduced measures to guarantee physical distancing that restricted access to urban parks and green areas, with potentially negative effects on citizens’ health and wellbeing. This study aims at providing insights to manage access to urban green space in physical distancing times, when the risk of crowding should be avoided. Using the city of Trento (Italy) as a case study, the study simulates policy scenarios corresponding to different restrictions and assesses their effects on green space access and crowding. Policy scenarios are obtained by combining different distances that people are allowed to travel, different types of green areas available for public use (only urban parks or parks and schoolyards), and different target populations (all residents or only people with no private gardens). The results unveil the trade-off between access and crowding of green areas, and can be used to suggest policy interventions and regulations that can be adopted in an emergency. Particularly, the study shows that: i) The relationship between distance threshold and the percentage of people with access to green areas is non-linear, and this should be carefully considered when proposing travel restrictions; ii) Changing the maximum travel distance does not produce major effects on the number of crowded green areas, hence additional or alternative measures need to be adopted; iii) Off-the-shelf measures, such as opening schoolyards, are beneficial and can be implemented rapidly in an emergency. Finally, the study reveals “hotspots” of green space deprivation/overcrowding in the city that should be addressed by urban planning to ensure that green space continues to benefit citizens also during emergency conditions.
... Therefore, the unique situation created by the COVID-19 lockdown in Berlin has led to new UGS routines and increased people's interaction with UGS. This is supported by similar research findings (Derks et al. 2020, which also suggest that UGS use increased significantly in light of the pandemic. ...
Article
This qualitative study explores the topic of mental health/wellbeing with reference to exposure to urban green space (UGS). It builds on previous research, which has highlighted the potential for green space interaction for supporting positive emotional and mental wellbeing, particularly in times of stress and uncertainty. Using this basis, the paper explores whether UGS interaction also helped to mitigate the negative mental health impacts brought about by the first COVID-19 lockdown. The specific focus is on students and expatriates living in Berlin, Germany as this population groupbecame increasingly vulnerable during this time as a result of uncertainty and restrictions in their daily lives brought about the enforced lockdown measures. More specifically, this paper investigates how a change in their daily routines created opportunities to interact with and experience UGS differently and how their emotional response and perception towards these spaces changed. Semi-structured interviews allowed for stories, experiences and emotions to unfold, which revealed that the participants' gained an appreciation for the potential of UGS to support their wellbeing during a stressful and isolating time. UGS interaction also allowed them to form tangible memories of summer 2020 as it provided a safe arena for them to maintain social contact with friends outdoors, or to escape their home environment and experience respite and relaxation in a natural setting. The findings demonstrate that for this sub-group of the population UGS became a reliable constant and a valuable public health resource, which may also help to mitigate the long-term adverse mental health impacts of the pandemic.
... These findings are also vital to wilderness managers entrusted with maintaining natural resources in their most natural state to fulfill visitor expectations of solitude. Thus, from a management perspective, ecological impacts should be a primary focus as they more severely detract from visitor experiences, especially as use-levels and associated impacts intensify amidst the COVID-19 pandemic [59,60]. ...
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Visitation to parks and protected areas (PPAs) has become increasingly widespread in the United States. This increased visitation is especially concerning within congressionally designated wilderness areas where federal agencies are tasked with the dual mandate of preserving wilderness character while simultaneously providing high-quality outdoor recreation experiences. This study investigated the influence of social, situational, and ecological factors on outdoor recreation visitor behaviors and decision making within the Lye Brook Congressionally Designated Wilderness (LBW) area in Vermont, USA. An on-site intercept survey (n = 576) was employed to collect data from LBW visitors in the summer of 2021. Descriptive and multi-variate statistics (e.g., binary logistic regression, structural equation modeling) indicated that visitor behaviors (e.g., coping, substitution) and decision-making (e.g., intention-to-return) were significantly influenced by social (e.g., conflict), situational (e.g., litter, access), and ecological (e.g., trail conditions, weather) impacts. Moreover, the presence of various weather conditions was found to significantly influence the severity of perceived social, situational, and ecological impacts. Study results indicated that outdoor recreation experiences are multifaceted, necessitating a suite of social, situational, and ecological considerations, especially when examining the relationship between visitor coping behaviors and intention-to-return. This research advances the coping framework, provides empirical support for future examination of social–ecological system (SES) theory, and emphasizes the utility of employing an adaptive systems approach for sustainable PPA management.
... Designing adequate housing and open space into neighbourhoods is one specific action that can provide the flexibility needed during pandemic and climate change associated crises. For example, the importance of blue and green infrastructure in cities like, e.g., forests as critical natural infrastructure during COVID-19 with positive impacts for both physical and mental health (Derks et al. 2020;Nieuwenhuijsen 2020;Booth et al. 2020) including heatwave risk reduction (Campbell et al. 2018). But even progressive interventions must be deployed with care to minimize the risk of capture and green gentrification (Anguelovski et al. 2019). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic and anthropogenic climate change are global crises. We show how strongly these crises are connected, including the underlying societal inequities and problems of poverty, substandard housing, and infrastructure including clean water supplies. The origins of all these crises are related to modern consumptive industrialisation, including burning of fossil fuels, increasing human population density, and replacement of natural with human dominated ecosystems. Because business as usual is unsustainable on all three fronts, transformative responses are needed. We review the literature on risk management interventions, implications for COVID-19, for climate change risk and for equity associated with biodiversity, water and WaSH, health systems, food systems, urbanization and governance. This paper details the considerable evidence base of observed synergies between actions to reduce pandemic and climate change risks while enhancing social justice and biodiversity conservation. It also highlights constraints imposed by governance that can impede deployment of synergistic solutions. In contrast to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governance systems have procrastinated on addressing climate change and biodiversity loss as these are interconnected chronic crises. It is now time to address all three to avoid a multiplication of future crises across health, food, water, nature, and climate systems.
... According to Syrbe and Grunewald (2017), it is necessary to thoroughly analyze the demand for the ES to prevent the misuse of primary resources by large market players. A great deal of research has been devoted to forest attendance issue or to motivation of forest visits, which gaining much attention especially due to COVID-19 pandemic (Derks et al. 2020;Venter et al. 2020;Jarský et al. 2022). Some studies analyze the perception of urban parks or urban forests and their ES. ...
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Ecosystem services are investigated from many perspectives, but there are very few studies comparing the perception of forest and demand for forest ecosystem services (FES) in a cross-cultural analysis. This study aims to map the demand for FES and find out the forest perception of forest visitors in both Czech and Chinese societies. Data were collected by structured questionnaire among three different groups of respondents ( n = 847) in six forest areas. The questions were focused on the demand for FES, expectations from the forest, preference for the visual form of the forest, and the willingness of forest visitors. Analysis demonstrates that the demand for some FES is related to geographical and cultural conditions. The results indicated that provisioning and regulation services are perceived as more important than cultural services. The differences by country were obvious in the cultural and provisioning services: Chinese demand more relaxing and meditation activities, whereas Czech demand mushroom picking. A significant outcome is a high demand of Chinese respondents for recreational facilities. Tree planting was rated as one of the most popular voluntary activity across the whole sample. Meanwhile, some findings point to an increasing pressure on forest ecosystems and their protection, which emerge due to the strong demand for recreational facilities. According to the findings, active involvement of forest visitors in various activities is recommended so that their appreciation of FES will constantly increase and to take into account the profile of visitors and incorporate them in forest management and planning in order to meet societal demand.
... Urban green spaces and parks have also been an important refuge during the pandemic. During the pandemic, researchers have found that park use increased when parks were open [2,3,18,[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40] and residents reported that these spaces improved their mental health [38,40]. These spaces have long been known to provide humans with multiple ecosystem services in addition to wellness, including mental health [7,13,22], climate regulation [41], and cultural benefits [42]. ...
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COVID-19 stay-at-home orders impacted the way humans interacted with built and natural environments. Previous research on the human use of green spaces during the pandemic, largely conducted in a Western context, has found increased use of home gardens and urban green spaces, and decreased visitation to conservation areas. We explored changes in residents’ outdoor nature-associated activities during the pandemic in the West Bank, Palestine. We used a web-based survey to ask residents about their passive, interactive, and extractive outdoor activities that take place in home gardens, urban parks, and natural areas. Overall, our 1278 respondents spent less time with family and friends and more time alone. We found differences in respondent’s participation in activities both between green space types and between activity types. Participation in passive appreciation of nature activities increased for home gardens but decreased in urban parks and natural areas. Interactive activities, including cultivation, increased for all areas, while extractive activities stayed the same or decreased. Only in natural areas did respondents’ demographics explain changes in activity participation rates after the pandemic. Residents’ increased time alone raises concerns about mental health. The differences we observed in activity participation across green space types highlights the importance of looking across different types of natural spaces and different activities in the same setting, as well as examining non-Western settings.
... The benefits they provide to citizens are numerous and are often referred to as urban ecosystem services to highlight the benefits they provide to the urban environment (Haase et al. 2014). The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of urban green spaces for citizens and their mental health, especially during lockdown periods (Poortinga et al. 2021, Pouso et al. 2021, highlighting the importance of green spaces for residents around the world (Derks et al. 2020, Morse et al. 2020, Ugolini et al. 2020, Venter et al. 2020. Therefore, green spaces have become one of the most important components of urban infrastructure in times of crisis (Kleinschroth and Kowarik 2020). ...
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Green spaces are important parts of urban infrastructure. COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown periods around the world have confirmed benefits that people derive from using green spaces for their physical and mental health. Green spaces need to meet the needs of users so that people can use them and benefit over time. It is important to consider users' perceptions and attitudes. User input proves beneficial in improving management practices. We investigated the differences in attitudes and perceptions of respondents from different large settlements in Croatia towards green spaces. Data on the use and perception of green spaces were collected in the first lockdown period in Europe and processed the part of the questionnaire on attitudes and perceptions towards green spaces. People have similar, mostly positive perceptions of green spaces regardless of the size of the settlement. Differences were found in the perception of disadvantages and needs related to the management of green spaces. This is the first study of the attitudes and perceptions on a large spatial scale in Croatia, so the results are exploratory and important. This study contributes to research on the social aspects of green spaces by investigating the influence of environmental context on perceptions and attitudes.
... People experience CES in urban forests while recreating, enjoying the beauty of nature, or being socially engaged (Pulighe et al. 2016). The global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has highlighted the growing importance of urban forests as critical infrastructure for CES delivery since visitor numbers have increased significantly (Derks et al. 2020;Beckmann-Wübbelt et al. 2021). ...
Article
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Studies on cultural ecosystem services (CES) in urban forests using Public Participation GIS mapping are a well-established field of research. However, far fewer studies do exist that also illuminate perceived disservices, thus omitting an important part of human-forest relation- ships. Advancing knowledge on unpleasant places can promote outdoor recreation and help forest managers focus on disservices that matter. This study aims at spatially identifying people’s perceptions in urban forests with focus on unpleasant experiences. We elicited perceived disservices and CES spatially by collecting Public Participation GIS data (PPGIS) from city dwellers in three urban forests in Germany’s Southwest (755 respondents mapped 1552 places of disservices). We investigated relationships between sociodemographic char- acteristics and the number of mapped places using Spearman’s rank. We also explored the spatial concurrence between disservices and CES using Spearman’s rank. We identified a hierarchy of importance of forest visitors’ perceived dislikes. We revealed that negative perceptions of urban forest visitors originated broadly from people and their traces and rarely from the ecosystem according to existing ecosystem disservices typologies (EDS). We found a significant relationship between age and the number of mapped services. We found clusters of disliked places and correlations between disservices and CES, indicating that hotspots of CES in turn are also hotspots of disservices. We conclude that city foresters may best address disservices by advancing guidance-concepts for spatial movements of urban forest visitors within the forest to avoid conflicting clusters of various stakeholders. Our results may help city foresters to better manage both the forest and visitors’ various interests.
... Notably, nature-based activities were among the least participated activities (less than once a week). This finding contrasts the results of several studies conducted outside of the U.S. [52,84,85] and one U.S. study by Grima et al. [49], which all reported increased nature contact during COVID-19. This inconsistency can be partially reconciled by differences in timing and location of data collection. ...
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Leisure engagement has risen as a salient societal issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only because it provides a pathway for people to continue meeting their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional needs, but also due to the phenomenal juxtaposition of general increases in leisure time and unparalleled constraints. This study reports the results of the first investigation of U.S. adults’ overall leisure engagement and its association with mental health amidst the major disruptions and sustained stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through an online survey in February 2021 through Prolific from a sample representative of the U.S. adult population in age, gender, and race (n = 503) and analyzed using a mixed-method approach. A total of 104 unique leisure activities in 19 categories and 3 domains were identified through iterative thematic coding. Participants reported general increases in home-based traditional leisure and digital/online activities and decreases in physical and nature-based activities. Multiple regression analyses controlling for socio-demographic and context-specific covariates revealed distinct associations between changes in leisure engagement and different aspects of mental health (perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and mental wellbeing), supporting leisure’s dual role in facilitating stress alleviation and wellbeing enhancement during taxing events, such as COVID-19.
... Observations of increased littering and unacceptable behaviour of forest visitors also formed rather significant part of the negative comments. This problem, too, has been identified in several previous studies, especially in relation to increased visitor flows due to pandemic (Derks et al., 2020, McGinlay et al., 2020. Several of the comments were rather general, for example, 'everything has become worse', but in two cases respondents provided a very detailed answer, listing all observed changes for the worst. ...
... Urban greenspaces provide numerous socio-ecological benefits such as aesthetics, microclimate remediation, biodiversity conservation, environmental education, and recreation to urban residents [1][2][3][4][5]. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the important health benefits of urban greenspaces [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]. ...
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Greenspaces, including parks, provide various socio-ecological benefits such as for aesthetics, temperature remediation, biodiversity conservation, and outdoor recreation. The health benefits of urban greenspaces have received particular attention since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has triggered various movement restrictions and lifestyle changes, including regarding the frequency of people’s visits to greenspaces. Using mobile-tracking GPS data of Kanazawa citizens, we explored how citizens’ behaviors with respect to outings changed before and during Japan’s declaration of a COVID-19 state of emergency (April–May 2020). We also examined citizens’ greenspace visits in relation to their travel distance from home. We found that Kanazawa citizens avoided going out during the pandemic, with a decrease in the number, time, and distance of outings. As for the means of transportation, the percentage of outings by foot increased on both weekdays and holidays. While citizens refrained from going out, the percentage change of the percentage in large greenspace visits increased very slightly in 2020. As for greenspace visitation in 2020 compared to 2019, we found that citizens generally visited greenspaces closer to their homes, actually increasing visitation of nearby (within 1000 m) greenspaces. This study of how outing behaviors and greenspace use by Kanazawa citizens have changed underscores the value of nearby greenspaces for physical and mental health during movement restrictions under the pandemic.
... They showed lasting effects on how Norwegian citizens spend their free time and the role of domestic substitute sites for recreation, especially for teenagers and young adults. Derks et al. [37] supported these findings with data from Germany. They reported an increased visitation of forests during the first phase of the pandemic in March-April 2020. ...
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Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars have presented publications discussing a shift of tourism towards a higher level of sustainability. Many argue that in 2020, people were not able to travel as usual and therefore could discover the added value of a sustainable vacation through new experiences in new, often domestic destinations. Using a quantitative online panel-based study in five European countries and the USA, we looked for evidence supporting such arguments. We analyzed demographics, the observed change in destination choice, and important criteria when selecting a different destination, including potential effects of the pandemic on traveling. We uncovered possible impacts of the 2020 vacation experience on future traveling and looked at both travel push factors and social values of non-travelers and travelers for explanation. Overall, we could not find any evident signals for the pandemic to be a trigger for more sustainable traveling, nor a long-term change in future demand.
... In previous studies, it was reported that there was a substantial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on people's overall well-being ( Table 7). The results of this study showed that the frequency and duration of park visits significantly decreased; these findings are contrary to other studies (Derks et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020). According to Derks et al.'s (2020) study in a peri-urban forest (Kottenforst near Bonn) and Venter et al.'s (2020) study in Oslo (Norway), the number of park visitors significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a global public health threat. In this crisis period, urban parks provided multiple ecosystem services and direct/indirect benefits to mental and physical health. However, the use patterns, attitudes, and perceptions of urban park visitors remained unexplored in Saudi cities. This study aimed to find out the use patterns, attitudes, and perceptions of people regarding urban parks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the findings were compared with non-pandemic periods. Two urban parks (Al Masarah Garden and Al Jamaa Garden) in Jeddah megacity (Saudi Arabia) were assessed, and 215 respondents were surveyed to fulfil the objectives of the study. The study applied a questionnaire survey and field observations to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use patterns, attitudes, and perceptions of urban park visitors. Non-parametric tests (Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests) were performed to find out the impact of sociodemographic factors (such as age, gender, and education). From the results, it was found that the COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the use, attitudes, and perceptions of urban parks in comparison with non-pandemic periods. The number of park visitors decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but urban parks were crucial to people’s mental and physical well-being. The findings of this study may help to understand the importance of urban parks as green spaces and to implement measures to enhance the quality and quantity of urban green spaces in Saudi cities.
... Illicit timber is much cheaper than those legally harvested, and thus the trade of legal hardwood is declining with China's import of tropical hardwood falling by 26% by volume compared to 2019 (Fair, 2020). An influx of visitors was reported in Germany, posing threats to forest management and policy implications due to recreational activities (Derks et al., 2020). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly halted the Anthropocene's ever-expanding reign for the time being. The resulting global human confinement, dubbed as the Anthropause, has created an unprecedented opportunity for us to evaluate the environmental consequences of large-scale changes in anthropogenic activities. Based on a methodical and in-depth review of related literature, this study critically evaluates the positive and negative externalities of COVID-19 induced lockdown on environmental components including air, water, noise, waste, forest, wildlife, and biodiversity. Among adverse impacts of the lockdown, increased amount of healthcare waste (300–400%), increased level of atmospheric ozone (30–300%), elevated levels of illicit felling in forests and wildlife poaching were prominent. Compared to the negative impacts, significant positive changes in various quality parameters related to key environmental components were evident. Positive impacts on air quality, water quality, noise level, waste generation, and wildlife were apparent in varying degrees as evaluated in this study. By presenting a critical overview of the recommendations given in the major literature in light of these documented impacts, this paper alludes to potential policy reforms as a guideline for future sustainable environmental management planning. Some of the key recommendations are e.g., enhance remote working facilities, cleaner design, use of internet of things, automation, systematic lockdown, and inclusion of hazardous waste management in disaster planning. The summarized lessons of this review, pertinent to the dynamic relationship between anthropogenic activities and environmental degradation, amply bring home the need for policy reforms and prioritization of Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the planetary boundaries to the environmental sustainability for a new post-pandemic world.
... This, again, highlights the importance of forests, as forest areas either offer multiple ecosystem services on their own or constitute part of larger nature areas, such as nature parks, often designed and maintained to fulfil various ecosystem functions. Forests are definitely among the most frequently visited nature areas in Europe, as indicated by, for example, Pichlerová et al. [27], Weinbrenner et al. [50], and Derks et al. [9]. During the onset of the pandemic, the importance of forest areas, especially urban and peri-urban forests, has markedly increased [27,42,51]. ...
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Outdoor recreation opportunities are crucial for sustaining people’s physical and mental health, and forests are important recreational venues in Europe, especially in its northern part. Our study sought to characterise outdoor recreation patterns and their changes in Latvia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a representative population survey with public participatory GIS elements that allowed the respondents to map their favoured recreation destinations. Our results revealed increased visitor numbers to nature areas during COVID-19. The main stated psychosocial factors behind the increased frequency of nature visits are health benefits and lower perceived risks in the context of the pandemic. Forests as areas simultaneously providing multiple ecosystem services have significant importance in providing space for outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation hotspots concentrate around major urban areas and in some of the largest and most popular nature areas.
... During the Tokyo Shinkansen epidemic, older adults, elementary school students, and others experienced lifestyle changes, lack of exercise, stress accumulation, and decreased well-being [15]; park use and associated mental health patterns among college student populations during the pandemic raised concerns, with some studies suggesting that young people were more likely to experience negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression [13,[28][29][30]. Some studies have shown significant increases in park visitation [4,31] and increased park use [6,32,33], while some urban parks have seen decreases in visitor numbers [34], decreases in public space engagement, and reduced risk of epidemic prevention and control with the use of public urban green spaces [35]. These conflicting and changing uses need to be studied by more in-depth investigations. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed and influenced people’s attitudes and behaviors toward visiting green spaces. This paper aims to explore the association between residents’ health and urban green spaces (UGS) through an in-depth study of changes in residents’ use of UGS under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wuhan East Lake Greenway Park was selected as the location for the field survey and in-depth interviews. At the same time, an online survey was also conducted (total number = 302) regarding participants’ physical and mental health and their attitude and behavior toward the UGS. A paired sample t-test and binary logistic regression were performed to investigate the association between participants’ health and UGS during COVID-19. The results show that: (1) the COVID-19 pandemic has primarily changed the leisure patterns of parks, with potential impacts on the physical and mental health of participants; (2) the purpose, frequency, timing, and preferred areas of participants’ park visits have changed to varying degrees after the pandemic, highlighting the important role and benefits of UGSs; (3) the physical and mental health of participants and urban development issues reflected by UGS use are prominent. This study reveals that awareness of the construction and protection of UGSs is an important prerequisite for ensuring the health of urban residents.
... As many indoor spaces where older adults gathered were suddenly inaccessible or unsafe (e.g., gyms, churches, senior centers), outdoor spaces became increasingly relevant in people's daily lives (Yan et al., 2021). To date, several studies have assessed how exposure to parks or other greenspaces influences mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but most of this research is in younger populations (Derks et al., 2020;Dzhambov et al., 2021;Geng et al., 2021;Grima et al., 2020;Heo et al., 2021;Larson et al., 2022;Lesser and Nienhuis, 2020;Levinger et al., 2021;Mitra et al., 2020;Pouso et al., 2021;Soga et al., 2021;Suzuki et al., 2020;Tomasso et al., 2021;Young et al., 2022). A multinational survey of 6,000 participants from 77 countries found that participants under tight lockdowns who reported more exposure to nature were less likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety during the pandemic than those with less nature exposure (Pouso et al., 2021). ...
Article
The role of parks and nature to support well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain. To examine this topic, we used mixed-methods data collected in April–May 2020 from US adults aged ≥55 in the COVID-19 Coping Study. We quantitatively evaluated the associations between number of neighborhood parks and depression, anxiety, and loneliness; and conducted qualitative thematic analysis of participants’ outdoor experiences. Among urban residents, depression and anxiety were inversely associated with the number of neighborhood parks. Thematic analysis identified diverse engagement in greenspaces that boosted physical, mental, and social well-being. The therapeutic potential of outdoor and greenspaces should be considered for interventions during future epidemics. FREE ACCESS till July 13, 2022: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1f7f14pqpjtIXa
... The exposure to both indoor and outdoor green features has a noticeable association with the well-being of people during the lockdown (Spano et al., 2021). Studies show that the use of green space has increased after the pandemic (Derks et al., 2020;Geng et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Fagerholm et al., 2021), and urban nature provides resilience to maintain the well-being under the condition of social distancing (Samuelsson et al., 2020). The benefits of accessing the green spaces include promoting physical health, recovering stress, feeling of isolation and depression (Samuelsson et al., 2020;Soga et al., 2020;Spano et al., 2021), which in turn reduce the vulnerability of people to the disease. ...
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The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) at the beginning of 2020 has restricted the human population indoor with some allowance for recreation in green spaces for social interaction and daily exercise. Understanding and measuring the risk of COVID-19 infection during public urban green spaces (PUGS) visits is essential to reduce the spread of the virus and improve well-being. This study builds a data-fused risk assessment model to evaluate the risk of visiting the PUGS in London. Three parameters are used for risk evaluation: the number of new cases at the middle-layer super output area (MSOA) level, the accessibility of each public green space and the Indices of Multiple Deprivation at the lower-layer super output area (LSOA) level. The model assesses 1,357 PUGS and identifies the risk in three levels, high, medium and low, according to the results of a two-step clustering analysis. The spatial variability of risk across the city is demonstrated in the evaluation. The evaluation of risk can provide a better metric to the decision-making at both the individual level, on deciding which green space to visit, and the borough level, on how to implement restricting measures on green space access.
... Σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο, τα πάρκα στις περισσότερες επιλεγμένες χώρες και περιοχές έχουν δεχτεί περισσότερους επισκέπτες από την έναρξη της πανδημίας COVID-19. Τα αποτελέσματα συνάδουν με τα ευρήματα τριών ερευνών στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και τη Γερμανία, υποδεικνύοντας ότι τα αστικά πάρκα δέχθηκαν πολύ συχνότερες επισκέψεις κατά τη διάρκεια της πανδημίας COVID-19 (Derks et al. 2020, Fisher and Grima 2020, Rice and Pan 2020. Οι περισσότερες κυβερνητικές πολιτικές σε πολλές χώρες, όπως το κλείσιμο των χώρων εργασίας, οι περιορισμοί στις κοινωνικές συγκεντρώσεις και οι ακυρώσεις δημόσιων εκδηλώσεων συσχετίστηκαν με την αύξηση του αριθμού επισκεπτών των πάρκων (Geng et al., 2021). ...
... Correspondingly, several studies investigated how COVID-19 lockdowns modified the frequency of visiting natural areas and the changes in spending time in nature ( Table 1). Most of these studies identified that during the lockdown period, frequency of visiting nature and spending time outdoors increased compared to before lockdown (Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020;Robinson et al., 2021;Venter et al., 2020). However, several studies found that nature contact decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic (Burnett et al., 2021;Curtis et al., 2022;Heo et al., 2021;Ugolini et al., 2021). ...
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While COVID-19 lockdowns have slowed coronavirus transmission, such structural measures also have unintended consequences on mental and physical health. Growing evidence shows that exposure to the natural environment (e.g., blue-green spaces) can improve human health and wellbeing. In this narrative review, we synthesized the evidence about nature's contributions to health and wellbeing during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that during the pandemic, people experienced multiple types of nature, including both outdoors and indoors. Frequency of visits to outdoor natural areas (i.e., public parks) depended on lockdown severity and socio-cultural contexts. Other forms of nature exposure, such as spending time in private gardens and viewing outdoor greenery from windows, may have increased. The majority of the evidence suggests nature exposure during COVID-19 pandemic was associated with less depression, anxiety, stress, and more happiness and life satisfaction. Additionally, nature exposure was correlated with less physical inactivity and fewer sleep disturbances. Evidence was mixed regarding associations between nature exposure and COVID-related health outcomes, while nature visits might be associated with greater rates of COVID-19 transmission and mortality when proper social distancing measures were not maintained. Findings on whether nature exposure during lockdowns helped ameliorate health inequities by impacting the health of lower-socioeconomic populations more than their higher-socioeconomic counterparts for example were mixed. Based on these findings, we argue that nature exposure may have buffered the negative mental and behavioral impacts of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery and resilience during the current crises and future public health crises might be improved with nature-based infrastructure, interventions, designs, and governance.
... Σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο, τα πάρκα στις περισσότερες επιλεγμένες χώρες και περιοχές έχουν δεχτεί περισσότερους επισκέπτες από την έναρξη της πανδημίας COVID-19. Τα αποτελέσματα συνάδουν με τα ευρήματα τριών ερευνών στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και τη Γερμανία, υποδεικνύοντας ότι τα αστικά πάρκα δέχθηκαν πολύ συχνότερες επισκέψεις κατά τη διάρκεια της πανδημίας COVID-19 (Derks et al. 2020, Fisher and Grima 2020, Rice and Pan 2020. Οι περισσότερες κυβερνητικές πολιτικές σε πολλές χώρες, όπως το κλείσιμο των χώρων εργασίας, οι περιορισμοί στις κοινωνικές συγκεντρώσεις και οι ακυρώσεις δημόσιων εκδηλώσεων συσχετίστηκαν με την αύξηση του αριθμού επισκεπτών των πάρκων (Geng et al., 2021). ...
... Other studies on coping and resilience during the pandemic [44,45] reinforce the importance expressed by some of our participants of the use of outdoor spaces, such as to talk to neighbours, take exercise, or for 'socially distant' events. Several international studies have noted the increased use of and activity in urban and local green spaces during the global pandemic [49], particularly including young families with children [50]. Studies undertaken with a general population found that the intentional use of green spaces has been important for maintaining social interactions during social restrictions [51] and associated with improved physical and mental health and well-being [52]. ...
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Most perinatal research relating to COVID‐19 focuses on its negative impact on maternal and parental mental health. Currently, there are limited data on how to optimise positive health during the pandemic. We aimed to bridge this knowledge gap by exploring how women have adapted to becoming a new parent during the pandemic and to identify elements of resilience and growth within their narratives. Mothers of infants under the age of 4 months were recruited as part of a wider UK mixed‐methods study. Semi‐structured interviews with 20 mothers elicited data about how COVID‐19 had influenced their transition to parent a new infant, and if and how they adapted during the pandemic, what strategies they used, and if and how these had been effective. Directed qualitative content analysis was undertaken, and pre‐existing theoretical frameworks of resilience and post‐traumatic growth (PTG) were used to analyse and interpret the data set. The findings show evidence of a range of resilience and PTG concepts experienced during the pandemic in this cohort. Salient resilience themes included personal (active coping, reflective functioning, and meaning‐making), relational (social support, partner relationships, and family relationships), and contextual (health and social connectedness) factors. There was also evidence of PTG in terms of the potential for new work‐related and leisure opportunities, and women developing wider and more meaningful connections with others. Although further research is needed, and with individuals from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, these findings emphasise the significance of social support and connectivity as vital to positive mental health. Opportunities to increase digital innovations to connect and support new parents should be maximised to buffer the negative impacts of further social distancing and crisis situations.
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Background: Several studies have suggested the possibility of obtaining specific respiratory benefits by experiencing forests and other natural resources. Despite this, forests have never been considered according to such potential. This study aims to compare municipalities by considering the absence/presence of tree species generating ‘above threshold’ potential respiratory benefits. Methods: The autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy has been assumed as a research area. The natural resource based view (NRBV), postulating the strategic role played by natural resources in achieving both above-average (thus ‘valuable’) and ‘concentrated’ (thus ‘rare’ among competitors) performance, has been adopted. The literature reviews dealing with potential respiratory benefits of biogenic organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted by trees, published within the ‘forest therapy’ research field, have been adopted. Three analysis models rating tree species by their potential respiratory benefits in ‘holistic-general’ (P1), ‘particular’ (P2), and ‘dynamic” terms (P3) have been outlined. The resulting overall potentials of tree species have been assessed by adopting the well-rooted Hollerith distance (HD) model. Tree species have been rated “1” when they satisfy one or more of 58 potential respiratory benefits. Municipalities have been ranked by considering the surface area covered by forest types whose dominant tree species achieve above-average potential respiratory benefits. QGIS software has been adopted to geographically reference the results obtained. Results: (P1) Valuable municipalities include those covered by both coniferous and deciduous forests; (P2–3) Municipalities achieving the highest potential respiratory benefits, in both particular and dynamic terms, have been mapped. Discussion: Forest-based initiatives that are running in the preselected municipalities can be both further improved and diversified in a targeted way. Conclusions: Despite some limitations mostly embedded in the concept of ‘model’, this study allows scholars to reduce uncertainties when locating municipalities in which to conduct local-scale experiments.
Article
COVID-19 global pandemic has caused massive disruption of travel behaviors along with other aspects of human life, such as social distancing, staying at home, and avoiding crowds. People substituted outdoor activities for indoor activities, and the forest environment has become a popular alternative. Taiwan has a high population density, but it had few COVID-19 confirmed cases in 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. No forest areas have been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of this generally increased demand for suburban forests for recreational uses, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation poses specific challenges regarding forest use, management, and policy. This study integrates visitation numbers of the popular forest recreation area and selects the unblocking index and social distancing index as the COVID-19 index to capture the impacts of forest recreation area on the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan. The results show both COVID-19 indices have high explanatory power for suburban forest visitation and both have a significant impact on the number of visitors. Although the number of visitors to suburban forests decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic alert, it bounced when the COVID-19 outbreak was under control. This study provides a brief overview of management implications for recreational visits during COVID-19. We posed an early warning to forest managers for greater revenge traveling post-COVID-19.
Article
A group of researchers came together during the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct an observational study on trail use behaviour. The purpose of this paper is not to report on the trail data collected, but to reflect on the research process during an unprecedented time. Specifically, the objectives of the paper are to identify challenges and tensions of collecting data during a pandemic, and reflect on the unanticipated rewards that arose while conducting such research. The paper relies on vignettes/reflections from seven researchers who shared stories that exemplified their data collection experiences during the first three months of the project. The researchers’ reflections provide an insider view into the challenges they faced. Using thematic analysis, themes about logistical difficulties, safety concerns, sense of time, and making connections were identified. The challenges and the importance of the researchers’ relationships with one another were evident in the reflections. In sharing their reflections, the hope is that their experiences may inform future fieldwork during difficult periods. This study examined some of the challenges of collecting data during a pandemic and the tensions that occurred, but there are lessons here for other stressful and unique research situations.
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This paper explores the impacts that the New Zealand government's lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 virus during 2020 had on the activity and experiences of outdoor recreationists in New Zealand. Concepts related to coping strategies such as rationalisation, displacement and substitution, have been used frequently to explain the behavioural changes and processes involved in outdoor recreation when disruptions arise such as crowding and recreational conflict. However, such concepts have rarely been applied to rapid on-set disruptors such as pandemics. This paper adopts coping strategy theory to help document the strategies adopted by outdoor recreationists in response to the national lockdown in 2020. Based on a qualitative analysis of twenty interviews with outdoor recreationists in New Zealand, various coping mechanisms such as temporal, activity, and spatial displacement are identified. These include increased appreciation for outdoor settings, discovery of local activities and microadventures, and increased walking activity across the restricted, reaction and reset periods. Outdoor recreation coping strategies may contribute to increased resilience to disruptive and rapid on-set events and enhance understanding of how recreationists respond and adapt to disruption. This research presents a unique insight of coping strategies adopted in response to the national lockdown that may have implications for participation and management of outdoor recreation in New Zealand in the coming years. This paper also offers a new perspective on the behaviourist tradition in the field of outdoor recreation which may be fruitful for future research examining rapid on-set disruptions and crises.
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Infrastructures are one of the layers that form a city. Infrastructures that are interdependent are necessary for the organization of cities. It also makes them vulnerable in disaster situations. On the other hand, critical infrastructures are more important ones among other infrastructures and if destructed, they can cause stop of life interurban, in whole or a part of the city. Identifying critical infrastructure sectors, on the other hand, enables to focus on key sectors and making it easier to deal with the complexity that come from connection in cities, shocks and stresses. Critical infrastructures are also a part of urban development processes. They both have effects on guiding urban development and are affected by developments. This paper examines three urban development models-mega, public transport-oriented and neighborhood developments-through examples and opens a discussion that draws attention to the vital role of critical infrastructures in urban development.
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The vast Amazonian biome still poses challenges for botanists seeking to know and recognize its plant diversity. Brazilian northern cities are expanding fast, without considering the regional biodiversity, and urban plantings of almost exclusively exotic species are taking place. It is paramount that the correct identity of such trees is ascertained before procurement of the seeds and young plants, as the use of popular names may lead to importation of plant material from elsewhere, with potential introduction of invasive species. The abundant local diversity also leads to the need to score the most suitable species within a given region. Following the preparation of authoritatively named floristic lists in Southeastern Pará state, we proceeded to score and rank the most suitable trees for urban planning using different characteristics such as size, ornamental value, ecologic role, resilience and known methods of propagation. From an initial 375 species list, 263 species were ranked according to their suitability for street and urban area plantings and visualized using a Venn diagram. A final list with the 49 of the highest-ranking species was further analysed regarding their pollination and phenology period and two types of dissimilarity analyses were provided to aid practitioners in matching and choosing groups of species. Different local vegetation types mean that similar floristic lists must be used to extract cohorts of suitable plants to increase the urban richness in the eight Brazilian states that are included in the Amazonian biome.
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This research analyzed the status of visiting peri-urban forestlands and mountains during the first COVID-19 emergency period in Japan using a large-scale online questionnaire-based survey. We identified and examined the factors that correlated with visits to such areas, including respondents’ social-economic attributes, environmental conditions (such as the land use patterns of their residential areas), and awareness of the functions of forestlands. The results suggest that environmental conditions are a major factor encouraging residents to visit peri-urban forestlands and mountains during the pandemic. Peri-urban areas with forestlands have such environmental conditions, and residents who visited peri-urban forestlands and mountains tended to live in peri-urban areas. Residents’ expectations regarding forest functions were also strong factors influencing them to visit those places. Those who visited forests and mountains expected these areas to have mental health and educational functions. Especially, female respondents tended to be aware of forestlands as spaces for mental and physical relaxation, and respondents who have one or more children tended to be aware of the educational functions of forests. These findings imply that policy should consider the role of environmental conditions, awareness, and expectations about the function of forests and mountains, and prior interactions with nature in encouraging residents to visit such places for their health during the pandemic. These factors could also play a role in addressing the social and environmental disparities that exist between residents of different socio-economic statuses regarding access to nature. In future research, the detailed relationships between residents’ environmental conditions and expectations/awareness of the functions of peri-urban forestlands and mountains need to be explored.
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OVERVIEW OF THE SPECIAL ISSUE This special issue of Arboriculture & Urban Forestry addresses current knowledge gaps by exploring how the planning, design, management, and use of urban trees, urban forests, and green infrastructure can be integrated into smart-city planning. It includes a range of contributions, geographically and thematically, at the intersection of technology, arboriculture, and urban forestry. Aerial and ground-based remote-sensing tools and techniques constitute a major focus. Chen et al. introduce a suite of survey and assessment techniques for roadside trees in Taiwan, integrating high-precision GIS-based instruments, LiDAR, radio frequency identification (RFID), and streetscape imagery. Lu et al. use aerial laser scanning approaches to model the provisioning of shade across the city of Vancouver (Canada), highlighting relationships between greenery and urban form across multiple scales. Satellite imagery, coupled with historical aerial photos and maps, were used by Freeman-Day and Fischer to track urban forest patches on the Indiana University campus (USA) across a large time series, emphasizing the potential to combine “low-” and “high-tech” tools in urban ecological monitoring. Pace et al. compare different field measurement systems, including smartphones with LiDAR capabilities, to quantify tree attributes, illustrating opportunities for small-scale, portable computers to characterize vegetation at finer scales.
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Forests host important plant biodiversity. Nevertheless, due to climate change and human disturbances, the floristic quality of forest ecosystems is degraded. Greek peri-urban forests biodiversity is threatened by anthropogenic activities such as forest fragmentation, pollution, garbage, etc. Measurement of biodiversity status and the floristic quality assessment can be used to estimate the degree of forest degradation caused by anthropogenic disturbances. In this study, we compared and evaluated six forest ecosystem types in the peri-urban forests of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, by using Shannon’s biodiversity index as well as and α and β diversity Sørensen indices. Furthermore, we recorded the prevailing anthropogenic disturbances and compared the plant families and the ruderal species appearing in each forest ecosystem. Finally, the average conservatism value (C value) of the plant species found in each ecosystem was determined in order to calculate the ecosystem floristic quality index. Analysis of the results showed that the floristic and ecological parameters tested greatly vary among ecosystems. Broadleaf forests of higher altitude hosted the greatest biodiversity, and the higher floristic quality index and plant conservation value. On the contrary, most disturbances and most ruderal species were recorded in ecosystems of lower altitude, adjacent to the city (Pinus brutia forest and Maqui vegetation), the least disturbed ecosystems were found in the steep slopes (Castanea sativa forest). Most ruderal species found belonged to the Asteraceae and Rosaceae families. Accessibility and attractiveness of stands were positively correlated with disturbances. Insufficient management, lack of protection measures, and littering removal contribute to the increase in the level of disturbance.
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Over the last decade, outdoor recreation has changed from passive (such as relaxation) to much more active (such as mountain biking) activities. Recreational infrastructure, such as mountain bike trails, often consists of technically innovative projects in urban forest areas. However, these projects tend to pose serious challenges to forest managers and forest owners, e.g., liability and cost issues, as well as diverging stakeholder interests. Our research goal is to address the specific governance processes, seeking to tackle such challenges and develop and implement recreational infrastructure. We examine two questions: (i) what led to develop the innovation and (ii) how were negotiations transformed into satisfying results considering their challenges? The article analyzes innovation from a governance perspective, considering stakeholders, stakeholder interactions and the outcomes of these interactions. Based on case studies concerning the establishment of two mountain bike trails located in urban forest areas of Austria and Switzerland, we examine the role innovation plays and analyze the underlying decision-making processes. This research is based on several empirical sources, including seven semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that (i) the processes underlying and surrounding the conflicts have reached unexpected complexity, (ii) the solutions found have high innovation potential in terms of the resulting institutional and organizational changes, and (iii) the trails and their institutional arrangements are subject to constant change and thus may be considered dynamic processes.
Article
Integrated forest management (IFM) can help reconcile critical trade-offs between goals in forest management, such as nature conservation and biomass production. The challenge of IFM is dealing with these trade-offs at the level of practical forest management, such as striving for compromises between biomass extraction and habitat retention. This paper reviews some of the driving factors that influence the integration of nature conservation into forest management. The review was conducted in three steps-a literature review, an expert workshop and an expert-based cooperative analysis. Of 38 driving factors identified, three were prioritised by more of the participants than any of the others: two are socio-cultural factors, identity (how people identify with forest) as well as outreach and education, and one is economic-competitiveness in forest value chains. These driving factors correspond to what are considered in the literature as enablers for IFM. The results reveal that targeted, group-oriented, adaptive and innovative policy designs are needed to integrate nature conservation into forest management. Further, the results reveal that a "one-size-fits-all" governance approach would be ineffective, implying that policy instruments need to consider contextually specific driving factors. Understanding the main driving factors and their overall directions can help to better manage trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and biomass production in European forests.
Research
This guidance document provides background on COVID-19 community transmission risks and considerations for public health interventions designed to minimize these risks in outdoor environments.
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This commentary serves to provide a rapid analysis of the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on sporting mass gatherings. The focus of this commentary surrounds sporting mass gatherings and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, with a particular focus on the UEFA EURO 2020 competition. Further references to the 2020 Olympic Games, and community recreational football are made. The intention is to stimulate discussion, analysis, interest and research on what the initial impact of COVID-19 has on sport. COVID-19 could fundamentally change the way sport operates in the future and requires further analysis. We hope this commentary provides an interesting record and reference point for future research and practice of those operating in sporting organisations. Learning lesson from this crisis, must ensure sport managers and practitioners are better prepared in sport and society for similar events in the future.
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Besides traditional timber production, other forest functions, such as biodiversity and recreation, have gained increasing importance during the last few decades. Demands on forests have become more diversified, thus making forest management and planning more complex. To meet these challenges, there is a growing interest in a more diversified silviculture, for which a number of different management options are available. However, it remains unclear how the various management options affect economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainable forest management. Hence, in this study, we assess the consequences of various management options on different aspects of sustainable forest management through scenario analysis using a forestry decision support system. We evaluate 10 different forest management scenarios for two contrasting municipalities in Sweden, based on expert participation by way of a web-based multi-criteria decision analysis framework. We asked experts in economic, ecological, and social forest values, as well as those in reindeer husbandry, to weigh a number of indicators in their field of expertise against each other, and to create value functions for each indicator. We then determined scenario ranking for different sets of weights for economic, ecological and social forest values. Our results indicate that current management practices are favorable for economic aspects (wood production), while a number of scenarios would be better suited to fulfill the Swedish co-equal forest policy goal of production and consideration of environmental issues, such as scenarios with longer rotation periods, a larger share of set-asides and a higher share of continuous cover forestry. These measures would be beneficial not only for ecological values, but also for social values and for reindeer husbandry. Furthermore, we found that expert participation through the web-tool was a promising alternative to physical meetings that require more commitment in terms of time and resources.
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Research demonstrating the biophysical benefits of urban trees is often used to justify investments in urban forestry. Far less emphasis, however, is placed on the non-bio-physical benefits such as improvements in public health. Indeed, the public-health benefits of trees may be significantly larger than the biophysical benefits, and, therefore, failure to account for the public-health benefits of trees may lead to underinvestment in urban forestry. In addition, the distribution of trees that maximizes bio-physical benefits may not maximize public-health benefits.
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Systematically collected information on outdoor recreation participation, motives and behaviors can improve recreation opportunities and reduce the risk of user conflicts. There are many uses of this type of information for managers of recreational areas including analyses of environmental, social and economic impacts, development of infrastructure, and marketing to appropriate audiences. One key component in building this knowledge is the application of visitor monitoring. This study takes an exploratory approach by analyzing managers' experiences on different on-site monitoring methods at 12 recreational areas in Sweden. Results show that knowledge of these methods and their use are strongly linked to individual managers' skills and competence. Contemporary changes in recreation behavior calls for more innovative monitoring approaches, but managers included in this study primarily work with rather traditional methods, which is likely representative of the overall situation in Sweden. Networking, educational programs and closer collaborations with universities could facilitate some of the challenges identified. Management implications ● The study showed the relevance of improved visitor monitoring practices, and tailor-made monitoring guidelines, based on actual use and experience-based data. ● Adequate visitor monitoring practices:- help to better incorporate recreation activities and values in natural resource management decisions, ● increase the awareness of possible conflicts between recreational and other resource users, ● show the possible need for increased management capacity, additional training or new ways of visitor management and provide a better foundation for decision making.
Chapter
The main objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of the status of urban forest policies in Europe. In the context of this chapter 'urban forest policies' encompass the full range of policies aimed at management and conflict regulation of relevance for urban forests as including all woodland and tree resources in and near urban areas (see Chap. 1). In English language texts from the field of policy science three distinct terms are used in order to describe different objects of interest, which in everyday language are commonly referred to as being in the domain of 'politics' (e.g., Glück et al. 2001a). Polity refers to the institutional dimension at formal (e.g. constitution, laws, taxes, parliament) as well as informal (e.g., tradition) levels. Politics refers to the procedural dimension, looking at the dynamics of political processes (e.g., will formation, interest mediation, bargaining, and communication processes). Policy finally refers to the substantial or normative dimension, which includes issues and objectives as well as outcomes of the political process. In the context of this standard terminology this chapter is therefore focusing on 'policy', while also taking into account the 'polity' aspects of the field. Some other issues related to 'politics' are only marginally touched here and are being taken into account in other chapters, namely Chap. 7 and 8. The chapter first introduces a theoretical conceptualization of urban forest policy and planning based on the policy scientific conceptualization of economical and political powers at play in today's urban areas. It then focuses on the specific aspects of policies in the context of urban forestry, as opposed to national forest policies. This stems from the hypothesis that urban forestry policy networks and arenas are determined by different interests than 'traditional' forest policy networks and arenas. As urban forestry is a multidisciplinary domain in which forestry is one among different actors, this is understandable. In addition, the chapter will try to determine to what degree 'national forest policies' of certain countries in Europe are approaching or already coinciding with 'urban forest policies'. Next, some main 'tension lines' or underlying factors that shape urban forest policy to a large extent are outlined. This will assist with identifying some of the main characteristics, challenges and opportunities in urban forest policy-making. After this, empirical results from 14 towns and cities are then presented to introduce the situation of urban forest policy in different parts of Europe. The examples will also serve as illustration of the more theoretical perspectives presented in this chapter.
Article
Policy integration and cross-sectoral programmes are discussed as means to better achieve the endeavour of sustainable develop-ment. Lately, political programmes, such as integrated rural devel-opment (IRD) funding schemes emerge taking an integrated, inter-sectoral approach. In Germany forestry, however, so far has been observed to only play a minor role in IRD. In this article we seek an answer to the fundamental question of why forestry actors only play a minor role in such integrated programmes? The article theoreti-cally reveals that sectors tend to avoid being coordinated by sector-external entities and programmes. Our case study indicates that forestry as a sector, shows abstract as well as active resistance against external attempts of integrated coordination. In the rare cas-es where the sector opens up towards integrated programmes, how-ever, forestry actors lack the ability, resources as well as institution-al preconditions for cooperation. Lastly, the agricultural bias of formally integrative programmes causes refusal among forestry actors. These findings lead us to the conclusion that forestry partic-ipation in integrated programmes is a question of willingness and specific utility as well as of ability in terms of institutions and resources. However, the existence of truly integrated programmes is a prerequisite, which policy makers still need to deliver.
Book
This book covers all aspects of planning, designing, establishing and managing forests and trees and forests in and near urban areas. The disciplinary background of the authors is varied, ranging from forestry and horticulture to landscape ecology, landscape architecture and even plant pathology. The first chapters in the first part of the book deal with the concept, history, chapter deal with the form, function and benefits and functions of urban forests and urban trees. , after which These are followed by second part the chapters in the second partthat focus on the more strategic aspects of accommodating the demands of the urban population, including policies, design, public participation and partnerships. In the third part the reader will find chapters on . But main emphasis is given to the establishment and selection of trees for urban uses, as well as information on growing conditions specific for urban areas. Part four deals with the management of urban forests and trees, including the use of information in management and a chapter on an overview of arboricultural practices. TFinally the book concludes with three chapters that providinge an overview of research and education in the field as well as shed someding light on the future perspectives for planning and managing urban forests and trees. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005. All rights are reserved.
Article
Chronic stress and little physical activity play an increasing role in dominant civilization diseases. The positive contribution of nature to health has been examined in a multitude of studies. The ambition of this study is to review the present state of international research on exposure to forests and its specific effects on human health, particularly stress-reducing effects. The review focusses on research in Asia and German-speaking countries (GSC) in Europe, distinguishing between forest benefits for physical and mental well-being. Considering the objective of the EU Forest Action Plan (FAP) to contribute to quality of life by improving the social dimensions of forests, it also examines and compares the forest strategies and programmes of GSC. With regard to plan implementation at national levels, attention is drawn to preventive health care aspects. The results are discussed and challenges, especially for forestry in GSC, are deduced. Spanish El estrés crónico y la escasa actividad física desempeñan un papel creciente en las enfermedades dominantes de la civilización. La contribución positiva de la naturaleza a la salud ha sido examinada en multitud de estudios. La meta de este trabajo es revisar el estado actual de la investigación internacional sobre la exposición a los bosques y sus efectos específicos sobre la salud humana, en particular los efectos de reducción del estrés. La revisión se centra en investigaciones en Asia y en países de habla alemana (GSC, por sus siglas en inglés) en Europa, distinguiendo entre los beneficios de los bosques para el bienestar físico y mental. Teniendo en cuenta el objetivo del Plan de Acción de la Unión Europea en Defensa de los Bosques de contribuir a la calidad de vida mediante la mejora de las dimensiones sociales de los bosques, se examinan y comparan asimismo las estrategias y programas forestales de los GSC en Europa. En cuanto a la planificación de la implementación a nivel nacional, se hace una llamada de atención sobre los aspectos de la asistencia sanitaria preventiva. Se discuten los resultados y deducen los desafíos, especialmente para el sector forestal en los GSC. French Le stress chronique et la carence d'activités physiques jouent un rôle prépondérant dans les maladies dominantes de notre civilisation. La contribution positive de la nature à la santé a été examinée dans une multitude d'études. Cette étude a pour ambition de présenter l'état actuel de la recherche internationale sur l'exposition aux forêts, sur ses effets spécifiques sur la santé humaine, et sur ses effets pour réduire le stress en particulier. L'étude se concentre sur la recherche en Asie et dans les pays germanophones (GSC) en Europe, en distinguant les bénéfices des forêts pour le bien-être physique et le bien-être mental. Tour en considérant l'objectif du Plan d'action des forêts de l'Union Européènne (FAP) visant à contribuer à la qualité de vie en améliorant les dimensions sociales des forêts, il examine et compare également les stratégies forestières et les programmes des GSC. Dans le but de prévoir une mise en oeuvre au niveaux nationaux, notre attention est attirée sur les aspects des soins préventifs. Les résultats sont analysés et les défis en sont déduits, en particulier pour la foresterie dans les GSC.
Article
This paper provides insights into foresters’ perceptions of forest recreation and its management. It is based on qualitative interviews with foresters in Berlin and the region of Stuttgart, Germany (N = 16). The results highlight the lack of strategic planning concerned with recreation management at both locations. Moreover, recreation management seems to depend mostly on the local forester in charge. Foresters’ perceptions of recreation, in turn, appear to be closely linked with how they perceive their work. Three narratives of the foresters’ self-perception are constructed that address three key items: perception of foresters’ skills and tasks, perception of the societal and political context of the foresters’ work and of their own scope of action in this context, and visions for future recreation management. The first narrative emphasises classical forestry and silvicultural aspects; the second understands foresters as multifunctional service providers for communal clients; and the last criticises the classical orientation of forestry and highlights new challenges for foresters in urban areas. These three views of recreation management in urban forests relate to classical forestry culture in different ways: either embodying this culture; differentiating from it; or adopting a new view which challenges this culture. Further research needs are discussed. The paper lastly argues for increased awareness of the importance of the social dimensions of forest management as one of the crucial future challenges for the forestry profession.
Article
The benefits of outdoor recreation and the need for recreation inventories and monitoring are described in various policy and legislation documents at the European level. The objective of this paper is to analyse how these recreational aspects are reflected at the national level in core forest policy and legislation documents as well as related domains. The COST Action E33 network was used to extract information about national policies and monitoring practices for international comparison, using the Delphi method. The results provide insights into national policy setting and legislation in the field of outdoor recreation, and reveal similarities, differences, gaps and future needs. Among the main findings is a contradiction between the expressed political importance of outdoor recreation at the national level, and the absence of binding commitments for action. The majority of the countries surveyed recognise and express outdoor recreation in some form of political and/or legislative way. However, recreation monitoring or measurements are rarely mentioned in relevant policies or acts at the national, regional or local level, perhaps due to a lack of political will or resources. The analysis indicates that a consistent forest recreation monitoring system, linked to sustainable forest management, as described for example in the Helsinki process, should be better transferred into national policy and legislation. Comparable data across Europe could then provide a sound base for making decisions on outdoor recreation policy, planning and management, and furthermore provide a basis for the detection of societal changes and demands over time.
Article
Recreation use in two urban forests in Vienna, Austria was compared. Visitors to an inner-urban forest and to a peri-urban forest were monitored by means of video observation during 1 year, from dawn to dusk. The amount of use and the temporal use pattern of the main user types, identified by video interpreters as walkers, cyclists, dog walkers and joggers, were compared. In the inner-urban forest, surrounding settlements, schools and business areas evoked high-use pressure, commuting activities, high shares of all-day activities, more morning and evening use particularly on workdays and, overall, more workday use. The peri-urban forest was, by far, not so heavily used and the proportion of daily routine activities such as dog walking and jogging was reduced because of the lower population density in the surroundings. While the potential for user conflicts in the inner-urban forest seemed to be quite high at weekends and workday late afternoons and evenings, in the peri-urban forest this potential was only high during weekend afternoons in the warmer season, due to the temporally concentrated appearance of walkers and bicyclists.
Article
This research utilises two valuation techniques (a frequency-based choice experiment model and a contingent behaviour model) to value a range of improvements to recreational facilities in forest and woodlands in Great Britain. We provide the first comparison in the literature of welfare results from these two approaches. Four groups of forest users are targeted in this research: cyclists, horse riders, nature watchers and general forest visitors, and look also at “sub-groupings” within these classes of forest user. We found that heterogeneity of preferences exists within each of these groups. In particular, more specialist forest user groups attain generally higher values for improvements than general users. For example, downhill mountain bikers were willing to pay more for the provision of dedicated downhill courses than family cyclists for easy cycle trails. It is also argued that the use of a frequency-based choice task in the choice experiment has advantages over the more traditional choice tasks for applications such as forest recreation since a frequency-based task better reflects actual behaviour and encourages respondents to pay closer attention to the “distance travelled” attribute.
Article
New demands are being made by society on forest managers. They are obliged to implement silviculture practices which prioritize recreation and conservation over wood production. The decision-making about priorities is taken by the political authorities, who depend upon preliminary studies by multidisciplinary teams and on an objective knowledge of the social demands. Development for recreation, adapted to each individual case, depends upon an analysis of the environmental conditions. The conservation objective implies, for a fraction of the forests in question, the creation of reserves of various types: integral or managed, etc. For the remainder of the landscape, an adapted sylviculture will promote biodiversity, carried out by a precise ecological zoning, the management of landscapes and the protection of patrimonial riches. This paper emphasizes the specific problems of the Mediterranean region, where the restoration of degraded zones generally implies a different approach from that adopted in the countries of central and northern Europe. Implementing a forestry policy that focuses on conservation and recreation – even when limited to only a part of the totality of forests – is not cost-free. It assumes complementary financing if the income from the sale of wood cannot cover management costs.
The Psychological and Physical Impacts of Spending Time in Forests: A Case Study of Two Forests in Ireland
  • Y Iwata
  • Á N Dhubháin
  • C H Bullock
Iwata, Y., Dhubháin, Á.N., Bullock, C.H., 2016. The Psychological and Physical Impacts of Spending Time in Forests: A Case Study of Two Forests in Ireland. Irish Forestry.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing the Way People Recreate Outdoors: Preliminary
  • W L Rice
  • C Meyer
  • B Lawhon
  • B D Taff
  • T Mateer
  • N Reigner
  • P Newman
Rice, W.L., Meyer, C., Lawhon, B., Taff, B.D., Mateer, T., Reigner, N., Newman, P., 2020. The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing the Way People Recreate Outdoors: Preliminary Report on a National Survey of Outdoor Enthusiasts amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • J Derks
J. Derks, et al. Forest Policy and Economics 118 (2020) 102253