The relationship between students’ perceptions of the University of Pretoria’s on-campus green spaces and attention restoration

Author: and
Key words: , , , , ,
Issue: Volume 11, Issue 2, 2017

Abstract


Previous research has suggested that natural green areas provide several psychological benefits to individuals. One such benefit is the restoration of attention capacities, an advantage that is of particular importance to university students. The present study, therefore, aimed to determine where students spend their free time on campus at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, how they perceive their on-campus green spaces and the extent to which they found these spaces restorative. Participants responded to a three-part questionnaire, investigating demographic characteristics, green space usage, and the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS). Statistical analyses were conducted to determine which of the green spaces contributed most significantly to overall PRS scores. All green areas made significant contributions, but the campus’s botanical garden was the greatest contributor to PRS. The findings of this study serve to encourage tertiary institutions to protect their green spaces, as the psychological well-being and attention restoration of students are affected by it.

Full text


Permalink (doi)



Authors Affiliations


Ruth M Liprini*, Nicoleen Coetzee
University of Pretoria, South Africa
* Corresponding author. Email: ruth@periziaconsulting.co.za

References


Abu-Ghazzeh, TM. (1999), ‘Communicating behavioral research to campus design: Factors affecting the perception and use of outdoor spaces at the University of Jordan’, Environment and Behavior, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 764–804.
Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. and Hughes, K. (2008), ‘Environmental awareness, interests and motives of botanic gardens visitors: Implications for interpretive practice’, Tourism Management, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 439–444.
Berman, M.G., Jonides, J. and Kaplan, S. (2008), ‘The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature’, Psychological Science, vol. 19, no. 12, pp.1207–12.
Cohen, J.W. (1988), Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences, 2nd ed. New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Felsten, G. (2009), ‘Where to take a study break on the college campus: an attention restoration theory perspective’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 29, no. 1, pp.160–167.
Galindo, M.P. and Hidalgo, M.C. (2005), ‘Aesthetic preferences and the attribution of meaning: Environmental categorization processes in the evaluation of urban scenes’, International Journal of Psychology, vol. 40, no. 1, pp.19–27.
Herzog, T.R., Black, A.M., Fountaine, K.A. and Knotts, D.J. (1997), ‘Reflection and attentional recovery as distinctive benefits of restorative environments’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 17, pp. 165–170.
Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (1989), The experience of nature: a psychological perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Kjellgren, A. and Buhrkall, H. (2010), ‘A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 464–472.
Korpela, K.M. and Hartig, T. (1996), ‘Restorative qualities of favorite places’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 221–233.
Korpela, K.M., Hartig, T., Kaiser, F.G. and Fuhrer, U. (2001), ‘Restorative experience and self-regulation in favorite places’, Environment and Behavior, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 572–589.
Lewis, C.A. (1979), ‘Healing in the urban environment: a person/plant viewpoint’, Journal of the American Planning Association, vol. 45, no. 3, pp.330-338.
Liprini, RM 2014, ‘Students’ perceptions of green space on a university campus: An Attention Restoration Theory perspective’ (unpublished master’s dissertation), University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Maas, J., Verheij, R.A., Groenewegen, P.P., de Vries, S. and Spreeuwenberg, P. (2006), ‘Green space, urbanity, and health: How strong is the relation?’, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 60, no. 7, pp. 587–92.
Mcfarland, A.L., Waliczek, T. and Zajicek, J.M. (2008), ‘The relationship between student use of campus green spaces and perceptions of quality of life’, HorTechnology, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 232 – 238.
Merriam-Webster (2014), Green space, 15 November 2016, (https://goo.gl/e78fe8).
Purcell, T., Peron, E. & Berto, R. (2001), ‘Why do preferences differ between scene types?’, Environment and Behavior, vol. 33, no. 1, pp.93–106.
Shah, M.G., Kale, C.M. and Patki, S.Y. (2002), Building drawing with an integrated approach to built environment, 4th ed. New Delhi, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishers.
Speake, J., Edmondson, S. and Nawaz, H. (2013), ‘Everyday encounters with nature: Students’ perceptions and use of university campus green spaces’, Human Geographies – Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 21–31.
Tenngart Ivarsson, C. & Hagerhall, C.M. (2008), ‘The perceived restorativeness of gardens – Assessing the restorativeness of a mixed built and natural scene type’, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 107–118.
Ward, C.D., Parker, C.M. & Shackleton, C.M. (2010), ‘The use and appreciation of botanical gardens as urban green spaces in South Africa’, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 49–55.

This post has already been read 63 times!