Studies on the positive effects of contact with nature have been mainly conducted in European countries, North America, and Australia, whereas the experience of nature for people living in other countries is still to be adequately investigated. Investigation of the beneficial effects of nature is particularly important in dense urban areas characterized by heavy environmental stress-related problems, like crowding and noise, and for people suffering from income-related well-being inequalities. To contribute to filling this gap, the present study investigated the effects of contact with urban parks on well-being among residents in Bogotá, Colombia. A questionnaire was administered to an opportunistic sample of 398 respondents (300 of which were completed and used in the analyses) in parks located in three districts differing in socio-economic status. The residents of these districts were representative of the upper, middle, and lower income groups. The questions asked about the use of green areas and related psychological variables, such as human-nature interdependence, connectedness to nature, perceived restorative and affective qualities attributed to the park, emotions experienced, and overall well-being derived from the park experience. The results showed higher levels of well-being for people in the middle-income group and a relevant role of nature-related activities and psychological variables in explaining such beneficial outcomes. Differences in the mechanisms leading to well-being also emerged for the three income groups. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.
Scopelliti, M., Carrus, G., Adinolfi, C., Suarez, G., Colangelo, G., Lafortezza, R., et al. (2016). Staying in touch with nature and well-being in different income groups: The experience of urban parks in Bogotá. LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING, 148, 139-148 [10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.11.002].