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Assessing cultural ecosystem services as individuals’ place-based appraisals
- Johansson, Maria, Pedersen, Eja, Weisner, Stefan
- Urban forestry & urban greening 2019 v.39 pp. 79-88
- ecological function, ecosystem services, humans, quality of life, wetlands, Sweden
- Though the existence of cultural ecosystem services is dependent on people’s activities and experiences, these services are still commonly assessed using top–down approaches. In this study, appraisal theory and research into human responses to natural environments formed the basis of a systematic multilevel investigation of appraisals of created wetland areas. The aim was to explore how appraisals could be used as a bottom–up approach to assessing the perceived contribution of wetland areas s to people’s quality of life (QoL). In total, 111 participants assessed environmental perceptions, affective experiences, and restorative potentials on site at three wetlands in Sweden. The results indicate that wetland areas and specific places with different ecological functions within these areas were appraised significantly differently. Moreover these places were perceived to support various QoL aspects to different degrees. Concepts and methods tested here give environmental planners hands-on tools for facilitating communication with expected users about the cultural ecosystem services of created wetland areas.