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      Finding Common Ground: Environmental Ethics, Social Justice, and a Sustainable Path for Nature-Based Health Promotion

      1 , * , 2 , 3

      Healthcare

      MDPI

      nature, public health, green space

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          Abstract

          Decades of research have documented continuous tension between anthropocentric needs and the environment’s capacity to accommodate those needs and support basic human welfare. The way in which society perceives, manages, and ultimately utilizes natural resources can be influenced by underlying environmental ethics, or the moral relationship that humans share with the natural world. This discourse often centers on the complex interplay between the tangible and intangible benefits associated with nonhuman nature (e.g., green space), both of which are relevant to public health. When ecosystem degradation is coupled with socio-demographic transitions, additional concerns related to distributional equity and justice can arise. In this commentary, we explore how environmental ethics can inform the connection between the ecosystem services from green space and socially just strategies of health promotion.

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          Most cited references 50

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          A Theory of Justice

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            The tragedy of the commons. The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality.

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              The significance of parks to physical activity and public health: a conceptual model.

              Park-based physical activity is a promising means to satisfy current physical activity requirements. However, there is little research concerning what park environmental and policy characteristics might enhance physical activity levels. This study proposes a conceptual model to guide thinking and suggest hypotheses. This framework describes the relationships between park benefits, park use, and physical activity, and the antecedents/correlates of park use. In this classification scheme, the discussion focuses on park environmental characteristics that could be related to physical activity, including park features, condition, access, aesthetics, safety, and policies. Data for these categories should be collected within specific geographic areas in or around the park, including activity areas, supporting areas, the overall park, and the surrounding neighborhood. Future research should focus on how to operationalize specific measures and methodologies for collecting data, as well as measuring associations between individual physical activity levels and specific park characteristics. Collaboration among many disciplines is needed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Healthcare (Basel)
                Healthcare (Basel)
                healthcare
                Healthcare
                MDPI
                2227-9032
                25 August 2016
                September 2016
                : 4
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Southern Research Station, Integrating Human and Natural Systems, USDA Forest Service, 320 Green Street, Athens, GA 30602, USA
                [2 ]Department of Environmental Planning, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University, Building 82, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea; jessjyun@ 123456snu.ac.kr
                [3 ]Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, 298 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA; lrl@ 123456clemson.edu
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: vjennings02@ 123456fs.fed.us ; Tel.: +1-706-559-4274
                Article
                healthcare-04-00061
                10.3390/healthcare4030061
                5041062
                27571114
                © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Concept Paper

                green space, nature, public health

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