Making cities more child- and nature-friendly: a child-focused study of nature connectedness in New Zealand cities

Freeman, Claire; van Heezik, Yolanda; Hand, Kathryn and Stein, Aviva (2015). Making cities more child- and nature-friendly: a child-focused study of nature connectedness in New Zealand cities. Children, Youth and Environments, 25(2) pp. 176–207.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7721/chilyoutenvi.25.2.0176

Abstract

While it is clear that contact with nature is vital to the health, happiness and well-being of urban residents, itis less clear how urban children connect with nature in their immediate environments. In this paper we ask: Do city children feel that they can connect with nature and what forms does this connection take? We present the perspectives of 187 children living in three New Zealand cities. We argue that for most children, cities can offer a variety of positive natural opportunities but that low-income children tend to access less biodiverse spaces. We explore how planners and other urban professionals can better understand and support children's connectivity with locally available biodiverse environments.

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