Green spaces, social contacts and aging

A.D.A.M. Kemperman, H.J.P. Timmermans

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Abstract

Green spaces in the living environment may provide a meeting place and support social contacts. When people get older they in general are less mobile and have more limited activity spaces, and at the same time they are faced with smaller social networks due to social and health related changes. Therefore, specifically for the aging population green spaces in the direct living environment are important to support their needs. The aim of this study was to better understand the relation between green spaces in the living environment and social contacts of the aging generation. Data for this study were obtained from a survey about living surroundings conducted in 2006 from a national representative sample of 1,863 persons in the age category of 65 years and over in the Netherlands. Specifically, a Bayesian belief network was used to formulate and estimate the direct and indirect relationships between the selected variables. Results show that social contacts with neighbors are mainly influenced by the social and physical living environment while social contacts with friends and family are influenced by individual and household characteristics. Green spaces support social contacts in the neighborhood, however, provision of green spaces is not sufficient. The maintenance of the green spaces is also important; high quality green spaces support the overall livability of a neighborhood and strengthen communities for the aging population.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings RARSS Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, July 2011
Place of PublicationSan Diego, CA
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven / EIRASS
Pages1-9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Eventconference; RARSS conference; 2011-07-15; 2011-07-18 -
Duration: 15 Jul 201118 Jul 2011

Conference

Conferenceconference; RARSS conference; 2011-07-15; 2011-07-18
Period15/07/1118/07/11
OtherRARSS conference

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