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Human dimensions of urban blue and green infrastructure during a pandemic. Case study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia)

Dushkova, D., Ignatieva, M., Hughes, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-9810-1891, Konstantinova, A., Vasenev, V. and Dovletyarova, E. (2021) Human dimensions of urban blue and green infrastructure during a pandemic. Case study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia). Sustainability, 13 (8). Article 4148.

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Significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that features of a modern, sustainable and resilient city should not only relate to fulfilling economic and social urban strategies, but also to functional urban design, in particular, related to urban blue and green infrastructure (BGI). Using results from a web-based questionnaire survey conducted May–July 2020 in Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia), this paper provides insights regarding citizens’ needs for and values of urban BGI as well as their changes during and after the COVID-19 restrictions. Survey data collected during the lockdown period have captured information about people’s ability to access green and blue spaces within urban BGI, inequalities in access, feelings, and values as well as needs and perceived pathways of future development of urban natural environment. In both cities, lockdowns limited access of people to green spaces which affected their mental and physical health. Survey results revealed that the quality, functionality, and location of open green spaces illustrated a disparity in distribution, meaning that in many cases several communities from particular neighborhoods suffered from limited access to BGI. Furthermore, in addition to analyzing perceptions and values of urban nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, some suggestions for improvement of urban BGI based on the survey responses are provided.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
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