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Who Cares? The Importance of Emotional Connections with Nature to Ensure Food Security and Wellbeing in Cities

1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
2
Land and Water Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
3
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061844
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
To be “connected” is “to care”, because how and what we care about is influenced, and influences, what we are connected with. Emotional connection predicts environmental concern and children exposed to green environments take this appreciation of nature with them into adulthood. However, the majority of the human population is now living within urban areas, where opportunities for people to interact and bond with nature are greatly diminished, thereby potentially threatening the liveability of cities into the future. Connection with nature has been shown repeatedly to benefit human wellbeing and predict pro-environmental behaviours. By definition “nature” includes urban agriculture, which is also an integral component of a city’s foodscape, thereby providing opportunities to improve the wellbeing of city inhabitants as well as help ensure food security. This will only be attainable if the next generation has an emotional connection to nature, and the necessary life skills to help them enter adult life as informed food citizens who make healthy and sustainable decisions for themselves as well as others. This paper reviews existing literature on foodscape (or one’s food environment) and biophilia (the love of life or living systems) to highlight the need for inter-disciplinary research that combines urban agriculture and food literacy to ensure future food security and wellbeing of urban inhabitants. View Full-Text
Keywords: biophilia; foodscape; wellbeing; urban agriculture biophilia; foodscape; wellbeing; urban agriculture
MDPI and ACS Style

Uhlmann, K.; Lin, B.B.; Ross, H. Who Cares? The Importance of Emotional Connections with Nature to Ensure Food Security and Wellbeing in Cities. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1844.

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