Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Home and nearby nature: uncovering relational flows between domestic and natural spaces in three countries during COVID-19

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-21, 16:53 authored by Ronan Foley, M Garrido-Cumbrera, Viveka GuzmanViveka Guzman, O Braçe, D Hewlett

This paper addresses the role of living spaces, neighborhood environments, and access to nearby nature in shaping individual experiences of health and well-being during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key data is drawn from the GreenCOVID study across Spain, England and Ireland. The survey gathered contextual information about home environments, neighborhood spaces, and access to nature elements, and standardized measures of health and wellbeing between April and July 2020 (n = 3,127). The paper used qualitative data from the survey to document flows between home and nearby nature. These were framed as barriers/mediators with specific focus on differing interpretations of home as both trap and refuge, with additional dimensions of loss, disruption and interruption shaping the broad responses to the pandemic. By contrast nearby nature was an enabler/moderator of health and wellbeing, offering healthy flows between home and nature as well as respite and additional health-enabling factors. Differences were identified between the three countries but important commonalities emerged too, recognising the role nature plays as an asset both within and immediately beyond the home. The use of flow as metaphor also recognises the importance of embodiment and the elastic nature of connections between home and nearby nature for wellbeing. More broadly, flow provides a valuable way to trace affective relational geographers to develop a wider understanding of assemblages of health during pandemics. 



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Published Citation

Foley R, Garrido-Cumbrera M, Guzman V, Braçe O, Hewlett D. Home and nearby nature: Uncovering relational flows between domestic and natural spaces in three countries during COVID-19. Wellbeing Space Soc. 2022;3:100093

Publication Date

19 July 2022

PubMed ID



  • Health Psychology


Elsevier B.V.


  • Published Version (Version of Record)