The role of emotions in human–nature connectedness within Mediterranean landscapes in Spain

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Irene Otamendi-Urroz
  • Cristina Quintas-Soriano
  • Berta Martín-López
  • Mónica Expósito-Granados
  • Daniela Alba-Patiño
  • Emilio Rodríguez-Caballero
  • Marina García-Llorente
  • Antonio J. Castro
Landscapes can lead to different emotions towards nature that in turn shape people’s environmental behavior and decision processes. This study explores the role of emotions that Mediterranean landscapes foster in people and to what extent these emotions are associated with human–nature connectedness (HNC). We conducted 176 face-to-face surveys to explore HNC and the diversity of emotions associated with a suite of landscapes in Southeast Spain. Results revealed that Marine and Coastal Protected Areas received the highest number of positive emotions, whereas Greenhouses and Non-Protected Littoral were linked to negative emotions. We propose a framework for classifying emotional landscapes according to four groups: emotionally positive, negative, polarized or neutral. Results showed that emotions might play a key role in shaping HNC in Spanish Mediterranean landscapes and may be used as a common ground for understanding roots underpinning human decisions and actions that lead to sustainable management or landscape degradation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2181-2197
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 09.2023

Bibliographical note

Special Feature: Just and Sustainable Transitions in Net-Zero Asia

Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. The study was funded by HORIZON EUROPE Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (Grant no. 101031168).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Ecosystems Research - Emotional landscape, Landscape management, Leverage points, Social preferences, Conservation, Sustainability