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Exploring the co-benefits of urban green infrastructure improvements for businesses and workers wellbeing

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DateAccepted/In press - 13 May 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 7 Aug 2017
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1-9
Early online date7/08/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Explorations of the benefits for businesses in terms of customer experience or improvements in staff wellbeing from installing and retro-fitting green infrastructure (GI) in a European city context has been lacking.

This paper reports on a two year longitudinal mixed methods study in a district of central London evaluating the changes resulting from the installation of a mixture of greening schemes for different types of business sectors and their staff members.

Business managers, particularly from retail and leisure sectors, perceived increases in customer footfall and sales in relation to the improvements.

Providing accessible green space in office settings led to improvements in morale, team interaction and workplace satisfaction amongst staff members able to access the improvements.
Increased GI was seen as improving uptake of company environmental policies such as energy saving or recycling amongst staff by their managers.

Impacts of neighbourhood GI schemes on staff wellbeing were mixed with increased greening leading to improved self-reported workplace happiness and greater interaction with nature spaces but not changes in overall measurements of staff wellbeing.

Overall the findings indicate that GI could represent a worthwhile investment for UK and European businesses through these combinations of direct and indirect returns adding to the known environmental benefits improving urban green spaces can provide.

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© 2017 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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