Social integration as a determinant of inequalities in green space usage: insights from a theoretical agent-based model

Picascia, S. and Mitchell, R. (2022) Social integration as a determinant of inequalities in green space usage: insights from a theoretical agent-based model. Health and Place, 73, 102729. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102729) (PMID:34902695) (PMCID:PMC8826000)

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Abstract

Visiting urban green spaces (UGS) benefits physical and mental health. However, socio-economic and geographical inequalities in visits persist and their causes are under-explored. Perceptions of, and attitudes to, other UGS users have been theorised as a determinant of visiting. In the absence of data on these factors, we created a spatial agent-based model (ABM) of four cities in Scotland to investigate intra- and inter-city inequalities in UGS visiting. The ABM focused on the plausibility of a ‘social integration hypothesis' whereby the primary factor in decisions to visit UGS is an assessment of who else is likely to be using the space. The model identified the conditions under which this mechanism was sufficient to reproduce the observed inequalities. The addition of environmental factors, such as neighbourhood walkability and green space quality, increased the ability of the model to reproduce observed phenomena. The model identified the potential for unanticipated adverse effects on both overall visit numbers and inequalities of interventions targeting those in lower socio-economic groups.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council (grant numbers MC_UU_00022/4 and MC_UU_00022/1) and the Scottish Chief Scientist Office (grant numbers SPHSU16 and SPHSU19).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Rich and Picascia, Dr Stefano
Authors: Picascia, S., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Health and Place
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1353-8292
ISSN (Online):1873-2054
Published Online:10 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Health and Place 73: 102729
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3048230041Places and healthRich MitchellMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/4HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230011Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230061Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU16HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230091Places and healthRich MitchellOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU19HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit