- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Urban residents can benefit from spending time in outdoor spaces and engaging with nature-related activities. Such engagement can improve health and well-being, support community cohesion, and improve environmentally-friendly behaviours. However, engagement with nature may not be equal amongst different members of society. We investigated individual variation in engagement with nature in Singapore, a high-density city in tropical Southeast Asia. Through a survey of 1000 residents, we analysed relationships between demographic factors such as age, income, and sex, and the frequency of visitation to different ecosystem types, and the frequency of engagement with different nature-related activities. Parks and neighbourhood open spaces were among the most commonly-visited outdoor spaces, with nature reserves and other natural areas being visited less frequently. Common activities included sitting outdoors, art and photography, and running, while hiking and nature recreation were less frequent. In contrast with previous studies, we found relatively small differences among different groups of the population in their preferred types of outdoor activities. Older people, those with lower incomes, and without degrees were less likely to visit most types of outdoor space and engage with most types of nature-related activities. In the case of nature reserves, the distance from the visitor’s home had a significantly negative influence on the frequency of visitation. These findings demonstrate that the benefits of engagement with nature are not equally enjoyed by all demographic groups, and that some groups lack engagement across the board. Strategies to increase nature engagement in tropical cities could include increasing the local availability and accessibility of different types of outdoor space, and education and public outreach programmes to encourage participation. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
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