Sjerp de Vries

Sjerp de Vries
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Wageningen Environmental Research

PhD

About

116
Publications
54,726
Reads
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11,286
Citations
Introduction
Sjerp de Vries currently works at Wageningen Environmental Research, part of Wageningen University & Research. He does research in environmental psychology and health geography. His work focuses on (access to) cultural ecosystem services, especially the effect of contact with nature on health and well-being. Current projects are Neighbourhood Green Space for Elderly People, Green Domestic Gardens and Well-being, Benefits of Plants in Offices.
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - May 2022
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Research fellow
February 1991 - present
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Research on landscape appreciation, outdoor recreation and effects of contact with nature on human health and well-being
February 1991 - December 2016
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (116)
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have observed an inverse relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related behavior of children, as reported by parents or teachers, and the amount of green space in their residential environment. Research using other, more objective measures to determine ADHD prevalence is scarce and could strengthen the...
Article
Full-text available
Nature’s mental health benefits are well-established in the literature, but there is little research on which types and characteristics of urban greenery are most relevant for mental well-being in general, and during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular. This study examined the link between having a (green) garden or a green view from the main windo...
Chapter
One of the first times the effect of nature on stress relief was investigated, the results were so remarkable that the top journal Science devoted space to them. The study, published in 1984, showed that American patients who had undergone gall bladder surgery recovered faster when they could see a tree from their hospital window than when they cou...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The WHO European Centre for Environment and Health has been closely following the research on green and blue spaces because of their importance in addressing human and ecosystem health in urban planning, especially in the context of climate change. Particular attention has been paid to the mental health effects of such spaces. The EKLIPSE Expert Wo...
Article
Full-text available
Nature underpins human well-being in critical ways, especially in health. Nature provides pollination of nutritious crops, purification of drinking water, protection from floods, and climate security, among other well-studied health benefits. A crucial, yet challenging, research frontier is clarifying how nature promotes physical activity for its m...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Urbanization is increasingly putting pressures on biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Evidence indicates that green and blue spaces can support the mental health of urban residents. Policy makers, city planners, other decision makers, healthcare professionals, and land managers now face a major challenge to maintain and enhance natural...
Article
Full-text available
Green spaces have been put forward as contributing to good mental health. In an urban context, space is a scarce resource while urbanisation and climate change are increasingly putting pressure on existing urban green space infrastructures and increasing morbidity caused by mental health disorders. Policy makers, designers, planners and other pract...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, research into how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, a better mechanistic understanding of the range of pathways through which biodiversity...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have shown that people feel happier in more natural environments than in predominantly built-up environments; however, it is less clear whether the type of natural environment matters. In a large-scale experience sampling study in the Netherlands, we explored whether happiness differs by the type of natural environment experienced....
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, understanding of how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, we need a better grasp on the range of pathways through which biodiversity can influ...
Article
Full-text available
Making our cities more sustainable includes the need to make the transition a just one. This paper focuses on distributive justice with regard to greenspace in cities. Urbanisation and densification will likely result in less greenspace in urban residential areas, especially in deprived neighbourhoods. This is a threat to the aim of healthy and liv...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing evidence of the inter‐relationships between ecosystems and public health. This creates opportunities for the development of cross‐sectoral policies and interventions that provide dual benefits to public health and to the natural environment. These benefits are increasingly articulated in strategy documents at national and regional...
Poster
Full-text available
Various studies have been conducted on the relationship between exposure to the nature and human health and well-being. Simultaneously, the heterogeneity of objectives, theoretical frameworks, and research methods make the comparison of results and establishment of overall messages difficult. Research on the relationship between urban green and blu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims at extending earlier models of outdoor thermal perception by fusing new knowledge from recent literature and deriving perspectives for future research and methods from the new model. Previous models focused on physical and physiological aspects. Only recently, the psychological aspects of thermal perception received more attention,...
Article
Full-text available
In their study, Astell-Burt and Feng1 address 2 important limitations of much of the research on contact with nearby nature and human health and well-being.2 The first one is its cross-sectional design, preventing the ability to draw firm conclusions regarding the causality of observed associations. The second one is that most studies do not distin...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of empirical evidence is revealing the value of nature experience for mental health. With rapid urbanization and declines in human contact with nature globally, crucial decisions must be made about how to preserve and enhance opportunities for nature experience. Here, we first provide points of consensus across the natural, social, a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A conceptual model was developed, describing the short-term, medium and long-term effects of plants on the indoor climate and the health and well-being of people. The model was tested by means of intervention research at three companies and eight homes for the elderly. The effect of plants on the physical indoor climate was measured with sensors, t...
Chapter
In this chapter the concept of biodiversity and its measurement and use in ‘biodiversity – mental health’ research is discussed, as well as access to and contact with biodiverse nature. It is pointed out that biodiversity is an ecological concept that originated in the context of nature conservation. It has evolved without consideration of its pote...
Chapter
Full-text available
The idea that contact with nature is healthy appears so intuitively valid, that for a long time, people felt no need to demonstrate or quantify nature's contribution to their health and well‐being. This chapter provides a brief introduction to the concepts of health and nature. Within environmental psychology, the term nature is generally used to d...
Article
p>Urbanization is a global trend, and consequently the quality of urban environments is increasingly important for human health and wellbeing. Urban life-style is typically associated with low physical activity and sometimes with high mental stress, both contributing to an increasing burden of diseases. Nature-based solutions that make effective us...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how green places contribute to well-being and health through social cohesion. Social cohesion contributes positively to both mental and physical health and is influenced by neighbourhood characteristics (such as socioeconomic deprivation) and individual characteristics (such as age). As neighbourhood green spaces are often pe...
Article
Full-text available
Elaborating from the European One Health/Ecohealth (OH/EH) workshop that took place in fall 2016 and aimed to bring together different communities and explore collaborative potential, the creation of European networks focusing on the development of important OH/EH perspectives was a direct output from discussions at the end of some sessions, in par...
Article
Background: In a rapidly urbanizing world, many people have little contact with natural environments, which may affect health and well-being. Existing reviews generally conclude that residential greenspace is beneficial to health. However, the processes generating these benefits and how they can be best promoted remain unclear. Objectives: Durin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions for health and well-being problems of the ageing urban population: As more and more elderly people live at home for longer periods of time, this can lead to problems such as loneliness, social isolation and depression. Many also suffer from onset of dementia. The costs for society are high. Green in the neighbourhood, in the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Urban forests (UF) and green infrastructure (GI) – including trees that are not only in woodlands, but also on streets, along streams, in parks, and on roofs – provide important ecosystem services for urban and peri-urban populations. By allowing for urban living in pleasant and healthy surroundings, breaking up the paved and impermeable built envi...
Article
Full-text available
Groen speelt een sleutelrol bij een gezonde leefomgeving. De gezondheidseffecten spelen op diverse manieren, maar vooral door de stressverlagende effecten van groen en de hittedempende werking op warme dagen. Het is daarbij wel belangrijk om niet alleen naar de kwantiteit maar ook naar de kwaliteit van het groen te kijken.
Presentation
Full-text available
We elaborate upon the fact that the body of evidence of the health benefits of nature is growing, while in the health care community there is hardly any interest in green health. While health care costs are skyhigh and rising, a lot of money could be saved by applying nature for prevention, cure and care. The presentation is mostly in Dutch.
Article
Urban green infrastructure provides a number of cultural ecosystem services that are greatly appreciated by the public. In order to benefit from these services, actual contact with the respective ecosystem is often required. Furthermore, the type of services offered depend on the physical characteristics of the ecosystem. We conducted a review of p...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous studies revealed a relationship between residential green space availability and health, especially mental health. Studies on blue space are scarcer and results less conclusive. Aims To investigate the hypotheses that green and blue space availability are negatively associated with anxiety and mood disorders, and positively ass...
Article
There is growing scientific recognition that contact with nature in general, and contact with urban green more specific, have the potential to positively contribute to human health. For the purpose of developing healthy urban neighbourhoods, this raises the question how to take scientific evidence about these health benefits into account. Accessibi...
Presentation
Full-text available
Green Infrastructure (GI) and Urban Forests (UF) provide important ecosystem services for urban and peri-urban populations. However, particular sections of society such as the income deprived, the disabled and ethnic minority groups may not have the same opportunities and access to GI and UF that more affluent sections of society enjoy. They may al...
Article
Background: Evidence is emerging that more green space in the living environment is associated with better health, partly via the pathway of physical activity. Objectives: We explored the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between green space and physical activity and several health indicators in the Doetinchem Cohort Study. Methods:...
Article
Full-text available
De BeweegKuur is een leefstijlinterventie die beoogt blijvend gezonder voedings- en beweeggedrag te realiseren. Qua beweging is het de bedoeling dat de deelnemers op het eind van de BeweegKuur uitstromen naar het reguliere beweegaanbod in hun leefomgeving. In deze studie is gekeken of groen in de woonomgeving een rol speelt bij het volhouden van he...
Article
p>Background Many problems concentrate in deprived neighbourhoods, among which is poor health. One possible way to address these health problems is to invest in the green space in deprived neighbourhoods. The number of evaluations of the public health impact of actual changes in neighbourhood green space is still limited. This study investigated th...
Article
Full-text available
Many problems concentrate in deprived neighbourhoods, among which is poor health. One possible way to address these health problems is to invest in the green space in deprived neighbourhoods. The number of evaluations of the public health impact of actual changes in neighbourhood green space is still limited. This study investigated the impact of r...
Article
Full-text available
This prospective study analyses change in self-rated health of chronically ill people in relation to green space in their living environment at baseline. Data on 1112 people in the Netherlands with one or more medically diagnosed chronic disease(s) were used. The percentage of green space was calculated for postal code area. Multilevel linear regre...
Article
Urbanization, resource exploitation, and lifestyle changes have diminished possibilities for human contact with nature in urbanized societies. Concern about the loss has helped motivate research on the health benefits of contact with nature. Reviewing that research here, we focus on nature as represented by aspects of the physical environment relev...
Article
In a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) or an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), determining the value that the general public attaches to a landscape is often problematic. To aid the inclusion of this social value in such analyses, a Google Maps-based tool, called the HotSpotMonitor (HSM), was developed. The HSM determines which natural places are hi...
Article
Several studies have shown a positive relationship between local greenspace availability and residents' health, which may offer opportunities for health improvement. This study focuses on three mechanisms through which greenery might exert its positive effect on health: stress reduction, stimulating physical activity and facilitating social cohesio...
Article
In the past decade an increasing amount of leisure research has been devoted to the negative effects of constraints on behaviour. In this study constraints were looked at from the perspective of the Rational Choice Theory. Furthermore, our study focused on patterns of constraints. Respondents were classified according to the constraints that they c...
Article
Full-text available
Het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving werkt aan verfijning van de graadmeter Landschap. Hiertoe is een Hotspotmonitortool ontwikkeld en uitgetest in een landelijke pilot. Aan 300 bewoners van zes studiegebieden is gevraagd op landelijk, regionaal en lokaal schaalniveau landschappelijk aantrekkelijke plekken (hotspots) aan te wijzen. Over deze plekken...
Article
Een belangrijke beleidsopgave is het beter benutten van ecosysteemdiensten. Het doel van dit onderzoek is te komen tot handvatten voor de overheid om de benutting te verbeteren. Daartoe is een theoretisch kader opgesteld, dat een schematisch overzicht geeft van causale relaties tussen de voor het functioneren van een ecosysteemdienst relevante groo...
Article
Op vier basisscholen, gelegen in Rotterdamse aandachtswijken, is het effect van het groen herinrichten van het schoolplein op de kinderen onderzocht. Een vijfde school fungeerde als controleschool. Het onderzoek bestond uit een voormeting en twee nametingen, waarvan de eerste direct na de herinrichting en de tweede een jaar later plaatsvond. Per me...
Article
This paper investigates the nature of the relationship between the greenness of the local environment and the health and well-being of its inhabitants by looking at a number of possible mediators within the same study: physical activity, perceived stress, ability to concentrate, social cohesion and neighbourhood satisfaction. Data were collected th...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past years our group has been working on a coherent research program on the relationships between greenspace and health. The main aims of this “Vitamin G” program (where G stands for green) were to empirically verify relationships between greenspace in residential areas and health and to gain insight into mechanisms explaining these relati...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is seen as essential to wealth creation and increased productivity, but the process has costs as well as benefits. In the present paper we conduct an empirical analysis for the highly urbanised Netherlands on the relation between the greyness of the living environment and the compensating behaviour of moreholidaynights spent away from...
Article
The numerous man-made elements being introduced into the countryside raises the question of how negative impacts on scenic beauty can be minimized. This study investigates the visual impact of wind turbines, business parks and agricultural buildings (barns) on scenic beauty, taking into account their context, design, distance from the observer and...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are expanding and accommodating an increasing proportion of the world's population. It is important to identify features of urban form that promote the health of city dwellers. Access to green space has been associated with health benefits at both individual and neighbourhood level. We investigated whether a relationship between green space...
Article
Er is experimenteel onderzoek uitgevoerd hoe de druktebeleving afhankelijk is van de feitelijke bezoekdruk en welke andere factoren daarbij een rol spelen. Naast de feitelijke bezoekdruk zijn het recreatiemotief en het type gebied systematisch gevarieerd. Situaties werden voorgelegd via filmpjes, die door leden van een internetpanel zijn beoordeeld...
Chapter
The idea that nearby nature stimulates people to be more physically active is quite popular. In this chapter the literature regarding the link between physical activity and the residential environment is scrutinized. More specifically, after introducing the main concepts and a theoretical framework the evidence regarding three categories of activit...
Article
Previous research shows a positive link between the amount of green area in one's residential neighbourhood and self-reported health. However, little research has been done on the quality of the green area, as well as on quantity and quality of smaller natural elements in the streetscape. This study investigates the link between the objectively ass...
Book
Full-text available
The link between modern lifestyles and increasing levels of chronic heart disease, obesity, stress and poor mental health is a concern across the world. The cost of dealing with these conditions places a large burden on national public health budgets so that policymakers are increasingly looking at prevention as a cost-effective alternative to medi...
Article
This paper investigates the nature of the relationship between the greenness of the local environment and the health and well-being of its inhabitants by looking at a number of possible mediators within the same study: physical activity, perceived stress, ability to concentrate, social cohesion and neighbourhood satisfaction. Data were collected th...
Article
De Monitor AVP is een systeem waarin eenduidige gegevens worden opgenomen voor monitoring van effecten, resultaten en prestaties van de beleidsdoelstellingen opgenomen in de Agenda Vitaal Platteland (AVP) van het ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw & Innovatie (EL&I). Dit document geeft de resultaten en achtergrondinformatie van de midterm m...
Article
Het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL) heeft in de Natuurverkenning 2011 vier kijkrichtingen uitgewerkt die mogelijke oplossingen presenteren voor de vier belangrijkste uitdagingen van het natuurbeleid van de toekomst. Daarmee hoopt het PBL een bijdrage te leveren aan de discussie over de doelen van het natuur- en landschapsbeleid voor de langer...
Article
Full-text available
The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and physical activity of older and younger allotment gardeners was co...
Article
Om beleidsopties in beeld te brengen, is de invloed onderzocht van de vormgeving van een drietal doorgaans vrij storende elementen op de impact die deze elementen hebben op de aantrekkelijkheid van het landschap. Het betreft windturbineparken, bedrijventerreinen en grote stallen. Bij alle drie elementen is gekeken naar het effect van mitigerende ma...
Article
Full-text available
As a result of increasing urbanisation, people face the prospect of living in environments with few green spaces. There is increasing evidence for a positive relation between green space in people's living environment and self-reported indicators of physical and mental health. This study investigates whether physician-assessed morbidity is also rel...
Article
Full-text available
The authors investigate whether the percentage of green space in people’s living environment affects their feelings of social safety positively or negatively. More specifically they investigate the extent to which this relationship varies between urban and rural areas, between groups in the community that can be identified as more or less vulnerabl...