Urban park design + love for nature: Interventions for visitor experiences and social networking
– New EER Article Alert
Pages: 1-13 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1214863
Affect or emotion for nature can prime environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors, but for one’s love of nature to grow she must physically experience and communicate about nature with others. This study aimed to identify urban park designs that could increase affect for nature in park visitors by stimulating their desire to communicate about and experience nature. Participants included 33 visitors at four urban parks in a mid-sized US city who were interviewed on location. Social network theory (SNT) served as the methodological framework for interpreting why, how, and with whom visitors’ communicated their nature experiences, as well as the design elements that led to increased love for nature. Analysis of the interviews confirmed findings from similar studies, while contributing new insight to how visitors’ use mobile technology to communicate about nature and build bonds with their social network. The conclusion offers ways for scholars and practitioners to improve urban park design so as to increase visitors’ affect, communication about, and action for nature.