Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia)
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Sites
2.2. Data Collection
2.3. Questionnaire Design
- information on the area of residence (for geographical identification to confirm the respondent was in the metropolitan sample area, the extent/provision of urban BGI in the area, and how long each area was under lockdown);
- subjective values assigned to urban green and blue spaces;
- perceived personal impacts of COVID-19 related restrictions;
- self-reported impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on access to urban green and blue spaces;
- subjective assessment of urban green and blue spaces adequacy and quality in the respondents’ local neighborhood;
- general demographic information.
2.4. Survey Distribution
2.5. Data Analysis
3.1. Chronicle of COVID-19 Pandemic and Analysis of Its Impact
3.2. Social Survey Results
3.2.1. Description of Samples
3.2.2. The Main Challenges of COVID-19 Restrictions
3.2.3. Perceived Benefits of COVID Restrictions
3.2.4. Activities to Cope with COVID Restrictions
3.2.5. Importance of Contact with Nature for Physical and Mental Well-Being
3.2.6. Perceived Personal Benefits of UGS
3.2.7. Changes in Urban Green and Blue Spaces Visitation
3.2.8. Urban Green and Blue Spaces Access Preferences and Demand
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Type of BGI||Perth||Moscow|
Perth: bigger parks (King’s Park), local “pocket” parks in neighborhoods; Moscow: historical gardens and parks of recreation and rest (Gorky Park)
|Green squares and boulevards in neighborhoods, greening streets in all parts of both cities|
|Greening of residential areas (front/back yards): Perth: only in private gardens and houses within the city; Moscow: public green between multistorey apartment buildings, but greening of private houses in suburbia and New Moscow|
Perth: reserved remnants of native vegetation, bushland, Moscow: forest-parks within the city boundaries
|Rain gardens, swales, and other bioretention facilities to manage stormwater and rainwater run-off by planting native flora into depressions or channels|
Perth: remnants of natural wetlands and designed wetlands.
Moscow: natural and designed bogs in the nature parks and in the residential districts
|Rivers and canals as public waterways for recreational purposes|
|Ponds and creeks for recreational purposes|
|Specific blue spaces typical only for Perth (seashores) and for Moscow (artificially created water reservoirs)|
|Reduced physical activity||Due to several restrictions (The Mayor of Moscow allowed outdoor sports activities only until 9 p.m. and walking within 2 km distance from home only three times a week without sitting on the benches), physical activities were reduced ||Some Perth people may have shifted to physical activity indoors given a reported spike in purchasing gym equipment and online fitness training |
|Negative influence on mental health||More than half of people who have had a severe form of coronavirus subsequently experience depression, insomnia, panic attacks, and other generalized mental disorders defined as post-COVID syndrome. COVID-19 strongly affects people’s daily emotional lives, increasing stress levels due to the lockdown period lengthens the fear of getting sick, or financial difficulties, especially by families with children. Online or phone calls to psychotherapists and psychologists were perceived as not real supportive measures due to the absence of physical contacts ||It has been reported that calls to mental health helplines, such as the Beyond Blue COVID-19 line, increased. Social isolation and anxiety associated with the public health response had a major impact on vulnerable cohorts (particularly seniors and people with disabilities, and their careers) and compounded mental health issues |
|Domestic violence||The number of victims of violence and cases of domestic violence has increased by 2.5 times since April 10 and during the whole pandemic ||Increases in family violence incidents of around 5% between March and May 2020 compared to the same time in 2019 |
|Reduced traffic||Passenger use of public transport in May–June 2020 was reduced to 54.5% of that in January–March 2020 ||A 79% drop in public transport use in Perth, road traffic had dropped 47%, walking journeys were down 37% (end of April) |
|Reduced air pollution||For carbon monoxide, experts recorded a decrease of 11%, and for sulfur dioxide by 30% ||Almost no change in nitrogen dioxide emission |
|Green space visits||−6% (17 May 2020)—Russia|
+51% (19 June 2020)—Russia
+69% (10 July 2020)—Russia
+41% (21 August 2020)—Moscow 
|Increase in the appreciation and demand for open public spaces, as outlined by Greener Spaces Better Places. A total of 87% of Australian urban councils had noted a positive shift in community attitudes towards green space |
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Dushkova, D.; Ignatieva, M.; Hughes, M.; Konstantinova, A.; Vasenev, V.; Dovletyarova, E. Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia). Sustainability 2021, 13, 4148. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084148
Dushkova D, Ignatieva M, Hughes M, Konstantinova A, Vasenev V, Dovletyarova E. Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia). Sustainability. 2021; 13(8):4148. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084148Chicago/Turabian Style
Dushkova, Diana, Maria Ignatieva, Michael Hughes, Anastasia Konstantinova, Viacheslav Vasenev, and Elvira Dovletyarova. 2021. "Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia)" Sustainability 13, no. 8: 4148. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084148