According to a survey from the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA), the use of nature in Oslo and its surrounding areas almost tripled during the corona crisis.
The researchers investigated the activity of people from Oslo by using mobile tracking data in the training application Strava, shared by thousands of inhabitants of the capital, NINA stated on its website in May.
“We have seen an increase in all kinds of outdoor activities – running, hiking, and cycling – and all parts of the city and its surrounding areas are being used. However, the biggest increase was registered on remote paths and tracks,” Zander Venter, one of the researchers behind the study, noted.
Venter believes that this indicates that access to green areas mitigates the negative effects of isolation, makes it easier for people to comply with social distance guidelines, and possibly reduces the risk of infection transmission.
Increased activity in parks
According to the survey, the increase in the city center was most significant in green neighborhoods and parks.
The researchers believe that this is a signal that must be taken into consideration in future urban planning.
Arild Hermstad of the Green Party (MDG), Oslo’s Vice-Mayor for Environment and Transport, believes that the survey results show how important it is to put nature considerations first.
“People are seeking out nature in times of crisis, and we see that it has had an important effect on curbing infection,” he told news bureau NTB at the time.
“The research from the Norwegian Institute of Natural Research shows that it is important to take care of the city’s green areas, also from an infection control perspective,” Hermstad concluded.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today