Do small green roofs have the possibility to offer recreational and experiential benefits in a dense urban area? A case study in Helsinki, Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Volume40
Pages (from-to)114-124
Number of pages11
ISSN1618-8667
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 119 Other natural sciences
  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • 519 Social and economic geography
  • Aesthetic experience
  • Urban design
  • Perceived restorativeness
  • Green infrastructure
  • Ecosystem services
  • Nature-based solutions
  • PERCEIVED RESTORATIVENESS
  • VISUAL PREFERENCE
  • PUBLIC-ATTITUDES
  • LANDSCAPE
  • AESTHETICS
  • SCALE
  • ENVIRONMENTS
  • BIODIVERSITY
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • QUALITY

Cite this

@article{f6c40290665140d0a0ba2e8394bb2105,
title = "Do small green roofs have the possibility to offer recreational and experiential benefits in a dense urban area?: A case study in Helsinki, Finland",
abstract = "Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology, 119 Other natural sciences, Aesthetic experience, Urban design Perceived restorativeness,Green infrastructure, Ecosystem services, Nature-based solutions, 1172 Environmental sciences, 519 Social and economic geography, Aesthetic experience, Urban design, Perceived restorativeness, Green infrastructure, Ecosystem services, Nature-based solutions, PERCEIVED RESTORATIVENESS, VISUAL PREFERENCE, PUBLIC-ATTITUDES, LANDSCAPE, AESTHETICS, SCALE, ENVIRONMENTS, BIODIVERSITY, PERCEPTIONS, QUALITY",
author = "Mesim{\"a}ki, {Marja Helena} and Hauru, {Kaisa Matilda} and Susanna Lehv{\"a}virta",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.005",
language = "English",
volume = "40",
pages = "114--124",
journal = "Urban Forestry & Urban Greening",
issn = "1618-8667",
publisher = "ELSEVIER GMBH, URBAN & FISCHER VERLAG",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Do small green roofs have the possibility to offer recreational and experiential benefits in a dense urban area?

T2 - A case study in Helsinki, Finland

AU - Mesimäki, Marja Helena

AU - Hauru, Kaisa Matilda

AU - Lehvävirta, Susanna

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof

AB - Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

KW - 119 Other natural sciences

KW - Aesthetic experience, Urban design Perceived restorativeness,Green infrastructure, Ecosystem services, Nature-based solutions

KW - 1172 Environmental sciences

KW - 519 Social and economic geography

KW - Aesthetic experience

KW - Urban design

KW - Perceived restorativeness

KW - Green infrastructure

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Nature-based solutions

KW - PERCEIVED RESTORATIVENESS

KW - VISUAL PREFERENCE

KW - PUBLIC-ATTITUDES

KW - LANDSCAPE

KW - AESTHETICS

KW - SCALE

KW - ENVIRONMENTS

KW - BIODIVERSITY

KW - PERCEPTIONS

KW - QUALITY

U2 - 10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.005

DO - 10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.005

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 114

EP - 124

JO - Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

JF - Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

SN - 1618-8667

ER -