NATURE IN THE CITY: Ecological Consciousness Development Associated with Naturalized Urban Spaces and Urban Forest Values in Calgary, AB and Halifax, NS
Peckham, Shawna C
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In an increasingly urbanized world, how cities are designed and built affect how urbanites connect to the natural world and develop an ecological consciousness. Findings indicate that people value different urban landscapes for unique reasons but that urban trees provide numerous aesthetic, psychological, social, educational, ecological, moral and economic benefits. Many urban forest values are interwoven across these value categories. How people defined nature, what emotional states the landscape engendered and how they were able to actively engage with natural elements within urban landscapes all influenced participants? sense of belonging to a broader natural community. Overall, findings support the notion that naturalized spaces, even small spaces, can invoke a sense of connectedness with nature within participants. Yet, many respondents suggest that urban nature experiences may not be enough for the general population to develop an ecological consciousness, rather that they require additional educational support.