Hiking in the Pyrenees: space openness as a condition for well-being

Devanne, A.S., 2004, Hiking in the Pyrenees: space openness as a condition for well-being, in: OPENspace, ‘Open space, people space’, OPENspace, Edinburgh

  • Author : Devanne, A.S.
  • Year : 2004
  • Published in Book : Open space, people space
  • Abstract in English : The authors propose to examine in what respect the openness of mountain spaces affects hikers’ experience of space, contributing to their wellbeing. Their hypothesis is that hikers are particularly sensitive to the openness of mountain spaces, as something that engenders in them a feeling of wellbeing. Using in-depth interviews with hikers-participants (whether visitors or inhabitants) in the Pyrenees, we point out that the hikers’ responses revealed several categories of openness. In all cases, a feeling of wellbeing appears to be both physical and psychological and associated with the openness of space. Then the authors focus on the social dimension of the openness of mountain spaces, such as it emerges from the relationships of our participants with other users, showing that encounters contribute to the feeling of openness and wellbeing, but only with certain categories of users, those who belong to the social group in which they recognise themselves.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: mountain, hiking, openness of space, wellbeing, encounters. [paper 6 p.]