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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33886

Title: Greening the City: Exploring Health, Well-being, Green Roofs, and the Perception of Nature in the Workplace
Authors: Loder, Angela
Advisor: Relph, Ted
Wakefield, Sarah
Department: Geography
Keywords: Green roofs, health, nature, workplace, sense of place, Toronto, Chicago, Urban nature, green building, well-being, phenomenology, logistic regression
Issue Date: 6-Dec-2012
Abstract: This five-paper thesis explores office workers perceptions of green roofs and how this influences their health/well-being in Toronto and Chicago. Paper 1 examines the underlying paradigms and world-views of major research programs that look at the human relationship to nature and health/well-being, showing that despite some convergence between their methods and integration of different paradigms, continued differences and lack of clarity on the normative assumptions underlying each approach leads to confusion in the specification of ‘nature’ in health/well-being and place research. Paper 2 is a comparative analysis of the implementation of green roof policies in Toronto and Chicago. Paper 2 demonstrates the importance of ‘selling’ green roofs by linking them to larger environmental programs and of the municipal power structure that influences how and if environmental programs are implemented. Paper 3 examines the awareness, attitudes, and feelings towards green roofs by office workers with access to them (visual or physical) from their workplace in Toronto and Chicago. Using a phenomenological analysis of semi-structured interviews (n=55), Paper 3 shows that the hinterland, expectations of different kinds of ‘nature’ and aesthetics in the city, and access all influence perceptions of green roofs and sense of place. Paper 4 explores office workers awareness of and attitudes towards green roofs and the possible influence on their well-being in Toronto and Chicago from a large survey (n = 903). Participants showed a high literacy on the environmental benefits of green roofs. Chi-square analysis showed mixed results for health, but a significant association between visual access to a green roof and improved concentration. Paper 5 tests whether the relationship found in Paper 4, improved concentration with visual access, was still significant when other confounding variables were added to the model. Using a logistic regression on the same survey population (subset n =505), results found that concentration was no longer significant but that there was a trend towards improved concentration.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33886
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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File Description SizeFormat
Loder_Angela_L_201111_PhD_thesis.pdfMain thesis63.21 MBAdobe PDF
Loder_Angela_L_201111_PhD_thesis_appendixA.B.pdfAppendices A and B110.35 kBAdobe PDF
Loder_Angela_L_201111_PhD_thesis_appendixC.pdfAppendix C706.85 kBAdobe PDF

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