Publications (FIS)

Nature-based recreation for the elderly in urban areas

assessing opportunities and demand as planning support

authored by
Chen Wen, Christian Albert, Christina von Haaren

Background: With elderly people comprising a growing share of the population, landscape planners need to consider their specific requirements to enhance the opportunities for them to engage in nature-based recreation (NBR). However, few studies have spatially assessed the recreation potential, demand, and opportunities for elderly people in cities. Thus, this paper aimed to spatially model and investigate the NBR opportunities for and demand of elderly people in urban areas. A spatial framework based on the ESTIMAP recreation model was developed, considering special factors to better reflect elderly people’s preferences regarding NBR at the city scale. In particular, NBR opportunities were assessed considering landscape aesthetics, various types of facilities, and proximity. The street network was used to understand elderly people’s walking behaviours regarding green spaces and related facilities. Results: A case study in Hannover, Germany, demonstrated the applicability of the proposed method. The results illustrate the spatial heterogeneity of recreation options for the elderly. Only parts of Hannover’s green spaces offer high recreation opportunities for elderly people. Many of the existing green spaces lack diverse landscape components and sufficient supply of facilities, resulting in a compromise to aesthetics and recreational opportunities. Conclusions: The proposed method contributes to research on spatial planning and environmental justice by incorporating vulnerable groups’ preferences and needs in spatially assessing NBR. The planning implications highlight pocket gardens and greenways connecting communities and parks as development opportunities in the city.

Institute of Environmental Planning
External Organisation(s)
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Ecological Modelling, Ecology
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)