Table 1

Examples of how the just ecofeminist healthy cities approach may inform the different stages of research around public green spaces and women’s health: research framework and research question

Research stagePutting to work the just ecofeminist healthy cities approach for research on public green spaces and women’s health
Research framework and research question
  1. Develop a new framework based on those traditionally used for research on the health benefits from public green spaces27 48 to: (1) include the health of human and non-human others as outcomes, (2) incorporate interrelations with widespread threats for humans and the Earth as we know it (eg, climate change, urbanisation, biodiversity loss, increasing frequency of natural disasters) as potential pathways, (3) reflect the role of caring tasks as confounders of the potential associations, (4) exchange how sociodemographic and economic factors are included in the frameworks as monolithic characteristics of participants by an intersectional understanding of these overlapping factors, (5) include political and other contextual factors that may encompass power dynamics and may impact the factors included in the framework and the associations explored (such as historic city planning decisions, opening hours of public green spaces or city transport characteristics), (6) take into account the different spheres of daily life and different perceptions and experiences of public green spaces to determine exposure to public green spaces and potential pathways, (7) include environmental justice elements as modifying factors or reconceptualise public green spaces so they become exposures with justice elements layers (eg, including value given to, understanding of public green spaces instead).

  2. Embrace the importance to have different research questions at microlevel (eg, neighbourhood, institution/organisation) and macrolevel (eg, the city and beyond).23 While microlevel research questions can, for example, more deeply investigate the different spheres of daily life and the diverse understandings of public green spaces; macrolevel research questions can focus on non-human others such as the ecosystem.

  3. Focus on socially underprivileged groups of women with an intersectional approach (eg, immigrated racialised transwomen or elderly women from low social classes living alone) that are those traditionally excluded from research on public green spaces and women’s health, and yet have some of the greatest needs for healthier and greener urban environments since they do not often have the means or time to access more remote green spaces.

  4. Develop research which is consequential and transformative. That is, research that focuses on impactful public health outcomes and that seeks solutions for a transition to ways of living that protect the health of current, future generations and the Earth’s health.49 This research should question the growth-driven model of urban development and highlight practices and experiences of community-driven wealth creation and alternative and solidarity economies, including those emerging around urban greening and public space projects. So, just ecofeminist healthy cities research should be performed only until there is enough evidence for action.

  5. Frame related research questions based on the previous points1–4 such as:

    1. What are similar and differential needs, uses and perceptions in regard to public green spaces and health for women across different intersectionalities (eg, between transwomen and cisgenderwomen of different ages and classes, between women born in the neighbourhood of study and immigrated to the area from different ethnic groups and ages)?

    2. What quality or characteristics of public green spaces (vegetation features; biodiversity elements) improve women’s health now while not damaging the health of others now nor in the future? What type of amenities seem to best contribute to women’s health (socialising spaces and cafés; specific sports infrastructure; benches and other resting spaces; toilets, ramps, lighting and other safety elements such as emergency buttons, etc)?