Enabling Relationships with Nature in Cities
Limited exposure to direct nature experiences is a worrying sign of urbanization, particularly for children. Experiencing nature during childhood shapes aspects of a personal relationship with nature, crucial for sustainable decision-making processes in adulthood. Scholars often stress the need to ‘reconnect’ urban dwellers with nature; however, few elaborate on how this can be achieved.
Here, we argue that nature reconnection requires urban ecosystems, with a capacity to enable environmental learning in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains, i.e., learning that occurs in the head, heart and hands of individuals. Drawing on environmental psychology, urban ecology, institutional analysis and urban planning, we present a theoretical framework for Human–Nature Connection (HNC), discuss the importance of nurturing HNC for children, elaborate on the role of property-rights and the importance of creating collective action arenas in cities for the promotion of urban resilience building. As values and environmental preconceptions underly environmental behavior, there are limits to achieving HNC in cities, as presumptive sentiments toward nature not always are positive.
We end by discussing the role of new digital technologies in relation to HNC, and conclude by summarizing the major points brought forward herein, offering policy recommendations for HNC as a resilience strategy that can be adopted in cities throughout the world.
Research news | 2021-07-03
Groundbreaking book on methods to study social-ecological systems
Open-access book covers 28 broad groups of methods, featuring contributions from almost a hundred authors in 16 countries
Research news | 2021-06-23
Better scenario building can help curb global threat of invasive species
Invasive species remain largely ignored in current future analyses. Experts present first set ever of alternative futures for global biological invasions
Research news | 2021-06-22
New software helps design sustainable cities
Natural Capital Project have developed a software that shows city planners where to invest in nature to improve people’s lives. It will also save billions of dollars
Research news | 2021-06-21
Proximity to green boosts building projects
Proximity to ecosystem services raises the value of residential and commercial areas around cities. Future projects should focus more to keep it that way
Research news | 2021-06-18
How much is the right amount of meat?
Celebrating World Sustainable Gastronomy Day, centre doctoral student Kajsa Resare Sahlin on why we need to better understand how much ‘less’ meat actually is and what ‘better’ means
Research news | 2021-06-18
The accidental chef
How a former PhD student’s book on food and life in the Pamir Mountains won the world’s most prestigious culinary book award