Reviewed research reveals a lack of young people's voices articulating if and how urban nature supports their mental health and wellbeing. This paper presents qualitative research with young multi-ethnic urban residents living in a northern UK city and offers an important counter-narrative to the pervasive notion of childhood nature-deficit disorder. Using interviews and creative arts workshops, we explored the value of urban nature for the mental health and wellbeing of 24 young people aged 17–27 years, 9 of whom had lived experience of mental health difficulties. Trees, water, open spaces and views were frequently experienced nature typologies offering benefits. Deteriorating landscapes, young people's shifting identities and perceived time pressures disrupted support. Young people expressed how urban nature encounters were experienced as accepting and relational, offering a: stronger sense of self; feelings of escape; connection and care with the human and non-human world.
- Mental health
- Nature connection
- Urban nature
- Young people
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies
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- School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society - Associate Professor
- School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Institute for Sustainable Building Design - Associate Professor
- School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, The Urban Institute - Associate Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)