Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Blue-space availability, environmental quality and amenity use across contrasting socioeconomic contexts

Thornhill, I., Hill, M.J., Castro-Castellon, A. ORCID:, Gurung, H., Hobbs, S., Pineda-Vazquez, M., Gomez-Osorio, M.T., Hernandez-Aviles, J. S., Novo, P., Mesa-Jurado, A. and Calderon-Conteras, R. 2022. Blue-space availability, environmental quality and amenity use across contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Applied Geography 144 , 102716. 10.1016/j.apgeog.2022.102716

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S014362282200087X-main.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB)


Over 60% of the global population are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Urban blue spaces are critical for biodiversity, provide a range of ecosystem services, and can promote human health and wellbeing. Despite this, access to blue space is often unequally distributed across socioeconomic gradients, and the availability of quality blue space could extend to environmental justice issues. Three stages of analysis were carried out in Mexico City, Mexico and Bristol, UK to (i) assess associations between blue space and socioeconomic metrics at a regional scale, (ii) apply a rapid assessment tool to assess amenity, access and environmental quality, (iii) consider local quality across socioeconomic gradients at a regional scale. Still water availability was indicative of higher socioeconomic status, but contrasting city evolutions underpinned differences. Locally, there were environmental gradients from more complex to disturbed habitats that influenced potential wellbeing and amenity benefits. In combination, this may exacerbate inequalities and risk increasing ecosystem disservices. If cities are to be socially, and environmentally resilient to higher levels of disturbance in the future, healthy ecosystems will be key. However, further research is needed to address various dimensions of injustice in urban areas beyond blue space distribution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0143-6228
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 June 2022
Date of Acceptance: 7 May 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:21

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics