The good things in urban nature: a thematic framework for optimising urban planning for nature connectedness

Kirsten McEwan, Fiona J. Ferguson, Miles Richardson, Ross Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
553 Downloads (Pure)


Green interventions which connect people with nature to improve wellbeing are increasingly being applied to tackle the current crisis in mental health. A novel Smartphone app intervention was evaluated amongst adults (n = 228) including (n = 53) adults with common mental health problems, with the aim to improve wellbeing through noticing the good things about urban nature. The app prompted participants once a day over 7 days to write notes about the good things they noticed in urban green spaces. Notes were thematically analysed and ten themes emerged. The three themes with the greatest representation were: i) wonder at encountering wildlife in day-to-day urban settings; ii) appreciation of street trees; and iii) awe at colourful, expansive, dramatic skies and views. Through combining the above themes with the pathways to nature connectedness this paper provides an extended framework of activities to inform activity programming, nature engagement media content, and ‘green health’ interventions. Moreover, the findings have strong implications for optimising city planning, design and management for the wellbeing of both humans and wildlife.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103687
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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