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Spatial analyses of people's experiences in urban landscapes
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Land management, GIS.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7936-3722
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Limiting cities’ negative impact for global sustainability suggests compact city development. However, extensive and accessible urban nature is important for urban dwellers’ wellbeing. Aligning efforts to make cities locally and globally sustainable means resolving this conflict.

This thesis applies spatial analysis of urban dwellers’ regularly occurring experiences, as these are important wellbeing indicators, looking specifically at Stockholm, Sweden. The aim is to contribute to a nuanced understanding of urban environments’ influence on urban dwellers’ experiences. Paper I investigates how accessibility to various environment features impact the probability that people have positive or negative experiences. Paper II applies resilience principles to investigate what experiences exist together in neighbourhoods.

The environment have considerable influence on people’s experiences. Some common indicators in urban planning display weak relationships with experiential outcome, while other less common ones have larger effects. Neighbourhood compositions of experiences display consistent patterns, both spatially across Stockholm and with respect to resilience principles. Many neighbourhoods harbour diverse positive experiences, while a few are dominated by negative ones.

The results suggest that human-environment relations should be given more consideration in urban discourse and urban planning. A relational approach could improve urban dweller’s experiences, and positively influence their wellbeing. For urban planning to be able to handle the complexity of such an approach, I suggest that resilience principles can be heuristics for an urban development that does not compromise people’s experiences. The methodological framework developed here can be applied in other cities, as it can identify specific places for transformation, but also increase knowledge of the interplay between urban environments and people’s experiences across different contexts.

Abstract [sv]

För att begränsa städers negativa påverkan på global hållbarhet förordas ofta kompakta stadsmiljöer. För att säkra stadsbors välbefinnande krävs emellertid stora och tillgängliga naturområden. Denna konflikt måste lösas för att nå en stadsutveckling som bidrar till både lokal och global hållbarhet.

Denna avhandling består av två studier av Stockholm som tillämpar rumslig analys av människors upplevelser, då dessa är viktiga indikatorer för välbefinnande. Den undersöker hur tillgänglighet till olika miljöfaktorer är relaterade till positiva och negativa upplevelser. Vidare tillämpar den resiliensprinciper för att undersöka vilka upplevelser som samexisterar på områdesskala.

Stadsmiljön har betydande påverkan på människors upplevelser. Vissa vanliga indikatorer inom stadsplanering visar svaga samband med upplevelser, medan andra mindre vanliga har större effekter. Sammansättningar av upplevelser på områdesskala uppvisar genomgående mönster, både rumsligt och i förhållande till resiliensprinciper. Många områden innehåller en mångfald av positiva upplevelser, medan ett fåtal domineras av negativa upplevelser.

Resultaten visar att relationer mellan människa och miljö bör ta en mer central plats i stadsplaneringen, då detta erbjuder möjligheter att förbättra stadsbors upplevelser. Resiliensprinciper kan fungera som tumregler inom stadsplaneringen för en stadsutveckling som inte äventyrar människors upplevelser. Metoden som utvecklats här kan appliceras i andra städer, då den kan identifiera specifika platser för omvandling, men också leda till djupare förståelse för samspelet mellan stadsmiljöer och människors upplevelser i olika sammanhang.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2019. , p. 25
Series
Studies in the Research Profile Built Environment. Licentiate thesis ; 5
Keywords [en]
Urban planning, social-ecological system, human wellbeing, expe-riences, affordance, ecological psychology, resilience, spatial analysis, PPGIS, Stockholm
Keywords [sv]
Stadsplanering, social-ekologiska system, välbefinnande, upple-velser, miljökvalité, ekologisk psykologi, resiliens, rumslig analys, medbor-gardeltagade, Stockholm
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29047ISBN: 978-91-88145-35-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29047DiVA, id: diva2:1275043
Presentation
2019-01-31, Krusenstjernasalen, Biblioteket, Högskolan i Gävle, Gävle, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-01193Available from: 2019-01-10 Created: 2019-01-04 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Impact of environment on people’s everyday experiences in Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impact of environment on people’s everyday experiences in Stockholm
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2018 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 171, p. 7-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to construct urban environments that limit negative impacts for global sustainability while supporting human wellbeing, there is a need to better understand how features of the environment influence people’s everyday experiences. We present a novel method for studying this combining accessibility analysis and public participatory GIS (PPGIS). Seven environment features are defined and accessibility to them analysed across Stockholm municipality. We estimate the probabilities of positive and negative experiences in places based on these environment features, by using spatial regression to extrapolate from the results of an online PPGIS survey (1784 experiences of 1032 respondents). Six of the seven studied environment features have significant impact on experiential outcome, after accounting for spatial autocorrelation among the data. The results show that number of residents and proximity of nature environments and water, all common quality indicators in urban planning and research, have weak statistically significant effects on people’s experiences. However, areas dominated by large working populations or proximity to major roads have very low rates of positive experiences, while areas with high natural temperature regulating capacities have very high rates, showing that there are considerable qualitative differences within urban environments as well as nature environments. Current urban planning practices need to acknowledge these differences to limit impacts on the biosphere while promoting human wellbeing. We suggest that a good way to start addressing this is through transformation of negatively experienced urban areas through designs that integrate closeness to urbanity with possibilities to have nature experiences on a daily basis. 

Keywords
Affordances, Public participatory GIS, Spatial regression, Urban ecosystem services, Urban social-ecological systems
National Category
Environmental Sciences Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25599 (URN)10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.11.009 (DOI)000423643000002 ()2-s2.0-85035000677 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-01193Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-75
Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2019-01-04Bibliographically approved
2. Urban resilience at eye level: spatial analysis of empirically defined experiential landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban resilience at eye level: spatial analysis of empirically defined experiential landscapes
2019 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 187, p. 70-80Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An unresolved issue in creating resilient cities is how to obtain sustainability benefits from densification while not eroding the capacity of social-ecological systems to generate wellbeing for urban dwellers. To understand how different relationships between urban form and wellbeing together play out, we analysed geocoded experiential data (1460 experiences from 780 respondents) together with variables of the physical environment. Through statistical and spatial analysis, we operationalised resilience principles to assess what urban environments provide “resilience at eye level” – a diversity of experiences and a level of connectivity between them that limit adverse outcomes. We found 8 typologies of experiential landscapes – distinct compositions of 11 categories of experiences. Our analysis shows that typologies with experiences supportive of wellbeing are diverse and exist in environments that balance residents and workplaces, avoid extreme spatial integration and/or density and have accessible nature. Typologies with many experiences hindering wellbeing fail in one or several of these respects. Our findings suggest that resilience principles can act as a guiding heuristic for urban densification that does not compromise human wellbeing.

National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29049 (URN)10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.03.015 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-01-04 Created: 2019-01-04 Last updated: 2019-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Samuelsson, Karl

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