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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Greater perceived access to green spaces near homes: Safer and more satisfied residents

Nordh, Helena; Aamodt, Geir; Nordbo, Emma C. A.


Safe and green living environments are highly appreciated by people and, as stated by the United Nations, are a key priority for sustainable urban development. The current study explores whether perceived and objective indicators of access to green spaces in the living environment, as well as individual socio-demographic characteristics, affects perceived safety as well as municipal satisfaction. It also examined whether perceived safety moderates the relationship between perceived access to green spaces and municipal satisfaction. Five indicators of access to green spaces were used: Four were objectively derived using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), while one indicator was based on survey data on inhabitants' perceived access to green spaces. The same survey also revealed the variables of perceived safety and municipal satisfaction. Correlation, regression, and moderation analyses were applied. The results showed that objective and perceived indicators did not correlate. Furthermore, strong and positive associations were revealed between perceived access to green spaces and municipal satisfaction B=0.45 (95% CI = 0.41, 0.50) and perceived safety (B = 0.39; 95% CI = 0.32, 0.46). The more satisfied people were with their access to green spaces and safety outdoors in the evenings and nights, the more satisfied they were with their living environments. These associations were evident even after controlling for socio-demographic variables. These results provide evidence of the importance of green spaces and support planners' arguments for preserving current or developing new green spaces. The study also shows the importance of not only relying on objective indicators of access to green spaces and encourages planners and researchers to explore perceived indicators.


GIS; neighborhood satisfaction; indicators; urban planning; perceived safety

Published in

Journal of Environmental Psychology
2024, Volume: 96, article number: 102332

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture
    Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

    Publication identifier


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