Friday, June 21, 2013

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside ... "

New research from my colleague Susana Mourato, and George MacKerron, shows that people are happiest in marine and coastal environments, and more generally when experiencing the great outdoors. No great surprise there, perhaps, but this is a pretty novel attempt at quantifying the effects. The study is the first to use a tailor-made smartphone app to record individuals' wellbeing in different environments, and is based on over a million observations, from 22,000 individuals. Results are interesting in and of themselves, but the method also has great potential as a new means of estimating the intrinsic value of the natural environment. Could be useful, for example, in evaluating climate adaptation measures such as flood defenses. The paper is published in Global Environmental Change. More details here.

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