Urban green spaces for the social interaction, health and well-being of older people— An integrated view of urban ecosystem services and socio-environmental justice

Journal article

Publication Details

Author list: Enssle F., Kabisch N.

Journal: Environmental Science and Policy

Publication year: 2020

Volume number: 109

Pages: 36-44

Publisher: Elsevier

ISSN: 1462-9011

DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.04.008

URL: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85083894161&origin=inward

Languages: English-Great Britain


Urban green spaces provide multiple ecosystem services to city residents and are considered an important element of socio-environmental justice. For older people, urban green spaces are important for health and well-being because they provide spaces for physical activity and social interaction. They can be regarded as spaces of encounter. Drawing on a comprehensive dataset of park visitation patterns, demographic characteristics and social network patterns, we explore older people's urban green space visitation patterns for the case of Berlin (Germany). We found that older people who have close social networks use urban parks more often than those who are more isolated in their daily lives. Self-estimated good health also contributes to more frequent park use. We discuss these findings along the three dimensions of socio-environmental justice: distributive, interactional and procedural. Based on our findings, we develop a framework that calls for an integrated view of these three justice dimensions, which all contribute equally and inseparably to a just provision of urban ecosystem services. Most importantly, we recommend urban planning to understand the city as an integrated socio-ecological system in which the planning and design of urban green spaces focus on providing ecosystem services together with enabling the creation of social networks in order to increase socio-environmental justice.


Last updated on 2020-03-08 at 12:45