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Open AccessArticle

Perceptions of Nature and Access to Green Space in Four Urban Neighborhoods

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School of Nursing, the University of Pennsylvania, Claire M. Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 100 N. 20th St, Ste 205, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
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Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, 3737 Market St 9th Fl., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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NaturePHL Program, Department of Education, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagys Mill Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19128, USA
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Penn Injury Science Center, Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Center for Public Health Initiatives, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Hamilton Walk, Anatomy Chemistry Rm 141, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Department of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, Blockley Hall 408, 423 Guardian Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Department of Family and Community Health, School of Nursing, the University of Pennsylvania, Claire M. Fagin Hall, room 412, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132313
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 29 June 2019
Health benefits have been linked to spending time outdoors in nature and green space. However, there is some evidence of inequities to accessing safe outdoor space, particularly in low-resource communities. The primary aim of this study is to assess attitudes towards nature and use of green space in urban areas. A secondary aim is to describe perceptions of physician-initiated nature prescriptions that target local pediatric populations. We conducted six focus group interviews with 42 residents who were guardians or caretakers of children living in low-resource neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA. We analyzed interview data using a conventional content analysis approach. Three major themes emerged: (1) perceived benefits of being in nature (physical and mental health benefits), (2) barriers to time spent in nature (unsafe and undesirable conditions of local parks), and (3) desired features of outdoor green spaces (amenities that would increase park use). Additionally, we describe participants’ reactions to the idea of a pediatrician-delivered prescription for outdoor green space exposure for a child in their care. Adherence to nature prescriptions programs may hinge on local green space resources, as well as experiential and perceptual barriers and facilitators to nature and park accessibility among caregivers tasked with fulfilling a nature prescription for a child in their care. View Full-Text
Keywords: green space; nature; focus groups; low-resource neighborhoods green space; nature; focus groups; low-resource neighborhoods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sefcik, J.S.; Kondo, M.C.; Klusaritz, H.; Sarantschin, E.; Solomon, S.; Roepke, A.; South, E.C.; Jacoby, S.F. Perceptions of Nature and Access to Green Space in Four Urban Neighborhoods. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2313.

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