Article

Health Effects of Viewing Landscapes – Landscape Types in Environmental Psychology

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Abstract

The visible landscape is believed to affect human beings in many ways, including aesthetic appreciation and health and well-being. The aim of this paper is to analyse the range of landscapes used in environmental psychology studies, and the evidence of health effects related to viewing these landscapes. A literature review of publications linking landscapes and health effects was conducted. This reported evidence of health and well-being effects related to exposure to visual landscapes. The results of the review include an overview of the types of landscape used in the studies, the evidence on health effects, the methods and measures applied and the different groups of respondents. The analysis reveals a predominance of studies using only coarse categories of landscapes. Most landscape representations have been classed as “natural” or “urban”. Few studies were found to use subcategories within these groups. Generally, the natural landscapes gave a stronger positive health effect compared to urban landscapes. Urban landscapes were found to have a less positive and in some cases negative effect on health. Three main kinds of health effects have been identified in the study; short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, faster physical recovery from illness and long-term overall improvement on people's health and well-being.The study provides an overview of the relationships between health and landscapes arranged in an accessible format, identifying gaps in our knowledge requiring further research. The identification of quantifiable landscape attributes that affect health is seen as an important factor in enabling future landscape design to be of benefit to human health.

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... Multiple studies have revealed that urban-forest aesthetics can give people an increased sense of vitality and optimism and expand their energy and performance levels by improving their state of mind. Similarly, urban-forest aesthetics can be defined as the feelings that give people a positive outlook on life and make them feel livelier and more active [10,13,14,[23][24][25][26][27]. A highly aesthetic setting can influence psychology and human behavior by influencing a person's vision. ...
... Traditionally, urban-forest visual aesthetics has had great importance in local communities, as it impacts human health and well-being and serves as the provision for social and tourism services [34][35][36][37][38]. They are accepted in certain world regions as essential natural resources, comparable to soil and water, and are beneficial for physical and psychological well-being [10,14,26,34,39]. The aesthetic quality of urban forests plays a significant role in enhancing the physical health of urban people generating benefits such as reduced stress, enhanced disease recovery, improved physical well-being for the elderly, improved attention capacity, walking motivation, a sense of good health and satisfaction, physical activity, and behavioral improvements [10,13,14,[23][24][25][26][27]. ...
... They are accepted in certain world regions as essential natural resources, comparable to soil and water, and are beneficial for physical and psychological well-being [10,14,26,34,39]. The aesthetic quality of urban forests plays a significant role in enhancing the physical health of urban people generating benefits such as reduced stress, enhanced disease recovery, improved physical well-being for the elderly, improved attention capacity, walking motivation, a sense of good health and satisfaction, physical activity, and behavioral improvements [10,13,14,[23][24][25][26][27]. As a result, the greater the aesthetic quality of urban forest areas is, the higher the health benefits for humans are [13]. ...
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Aesthetic experience in a forest can typically be associated with attractive forest scenery that gives people a sense of visual pleasure. Characterized as a visual product based on people’s reactions towards various combinations of landscape settings, features, and objects, this type of natural visual pleasure may benefit people’s well-being, promotes natural and cultural heritage preservation, and encourages the growth of the eco-tourism industry. While most research on forest aesthetics focuses on non-urban settings, this study examines aesthetics in the context of urban forests. This study aims to systematically review landscape aesthetic assessment studies to propose a model for urban forests. We conducted a systematic review of research articles published from 2014 to 2020 by using three research journal databases, Science Direct, Scopus, and MDPI. In total, 55 research articles were identified and qualified for review based on the screening requirements. An additional 26 research articles were also included by using the snowball method to provide better understanding and outcomes for the study. The results were organized into these categories: definitions, benefits, philosophies, approaches, and variables for the aesthetic quality assessment in urban forest areas. In addition, we also found that aesthetic quality in urban forests is highly influenced by visual composition, visual sense, and visual conditions, which have also been proven to be important parts of forest functions and values that could contribute towards the preservation of urban green spaces.
... According to the psychological literature, natural and/or green elements are strongly associated with positive effects [69,70]. Momentary or prolonged exposure to natural environments was found to be related to a broad spectrum of positive psychological states, namely stress reduction [71,72], restoration of optimal attention span [73], flow or peak experiences [7], positive emotions increase [74,75]. ...
... These beneficial effects occur in the direct presence of natural environments and also when such environments are presented through photographs, videos, or VR [57,[87][88][89]. Many studies in this field are conducted in laboratories to control the intervening variables (see [70] for a methodological summary). On the one side, the virtual scenario reduces variables and Sustainability 2021, 13, 13388 5 of 25 allows scholars to manipulate them according to the experimental goals, e.g., studying the influence of light or weather conditions on emotional states [90]. ...
Article
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Simulations of urban transformations are an effective tool for engaging citizens and enhancing their understanding of urban design outcomes. Citizens’ involvement can positively contribute to foster resilience for mitigating the impact of climate change. Successful integration of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) into the urban fabric enables both the mitigation of climate hazards and positive reactions of citizens. This paper presents two case studies in a southern district of Milan (Italy), investigating the emotional reaction of citizens to existing urban greenery and designed NBS. During the events, the participants explored in Virtual Reality (VR) (n = 48) and Augmented Reality (AR) (n = 63) (i) the district in its current condition and (ii) the design project of a future transformation including NBS. The environmental exploration and the data collection took place through the exp-EIA© method, integrated into the mobile app City Sense. The correlations between the color features of the viewed landscape and the emotional reaction of participants showed that weighted saturation of green and lime colors reduced the unpleasantness both in VR and AR, while the lime pixel area (%) reduced the unpleasantness only in VR. No effects were observed on the Arousal and Sleepiness factors. The effects show high reliability between VR and AR for some of the variables. Implications of the method and the benefits for urban simulation and participatory processes are discussed.
... On the other hand, COVID-19 pandemic started in the end of 2019 further worsens mental health problems due to fear of future infection, and governments' policies of quarantine and keeping social distance to prevent the spread of the virus in many countries (McGinty et al., 2020;Pierce et al., 2020;Vindegaard & Benros, 2020). Although mental disorder is linked to many factors and some clinical preventions are effective, mental health can be achieved by surrounding environments (Han, 2003;Nikunen et al., 2014;Velarde et al., 2007;Wang et al., 2018;Xu et al., 2018;Zhao et al., 2018). ...
... Urban green spaces are the closest common places for urban residents to experience nature. Existing literature suggested that exposure to urban green spaces reduced disease: obesity and mental disorder through mechanisms including the promotion of physical exercise (Schipperijn et al., 2017), stress reduction through opportunities of psychological restoration (Velarde et al., 2007;Zhao et al., 2018), and the improvement of urban environments through influencing temperature, wind, humidity, rainfall, air quality, and sound quality (Song et al., 2015). Paths stretch to every corner of urban green spaces. ...
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Aim This study checked the effects of landscape types and complexity along path in urban green spaces on perceived restorativeness, so as to provide guidance for path landscape design. Background Paths in urban green spaces are not only the connections between places but also places for visitors reducing mental stress and seeking psychological well-being. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research on the effects of landscape composition along the path on restorative quality, failing to provide a cohesive guideline for practice. Methods Fourteen videos representing the popular path landscapes in urban green spaces were produced using computer software by adding or/and deleting elements and controlling environmental components. The restorative quality of these videos was measured by Short-version Revised Restoration Scale (SRRS). Statistical analysis was employed to treat the data and checked the effects of different landscape types and complexity on restorative quality. Results (1) A significant difference in restorative quality between 14 path landscapes was found, comparatively, the path containing lawn or(and) forest was much better than that containing bamboo and waterscape, and bamboo was a negative predictor of restorative quality; (2) waterscape generally reduced the restorative quality of vegetated path landscape, especially when the landscape possessed higher restorative quality; (3) path landscape complexity had a weak influence on restorative quality. Conclusions This study explains how path landscapes affect mental restoration of users, and these findings contribute to enhancing the restorative quality of urban green spaces and have applications for path landscape design.
... In this study, individuals showed an aesthetic preference for images that carried a label of being more natural. This is inline with previous studies (Kaplan et al. 1972;Velarde et al. 2007). These features were green/yellow (lower) hues, diversity in color saturation (SDSat), defragmented-curvy surfaces/less presence of straight edges, (in objects such as shrubbery, waterfalls, rocks, and bodies of water), which were all implicated in predicting aesthetic preference (Kardan et al. 2015). ...
Chapter
Humans search for, identify, and interact with objects efficiently, utilizing not only the visual characteristics of the object itself but also contextual information to generate optimal predictions about objects in scenes. Over the course of our lives, we have acquired knowledge regarding co-occurring local objects as well as the global scene contexts in which they are usually encountered, creating strong predictions regarding what objects are typically found where in our environment. A number of studies from the last decades have characterized how such knowledge may guide attention in scene viewing and modulate object perception, using diverse methodologies like psychophysics, eye tracking, and neurophysiology, with various degrees of realism ranging from on-screen experiments via virtual reality to real-world studies. Some recent work has focused on investigating what “ingredients” of scenes actually influence object search and perception. Scenes tend to be hierarchically organized with some objects—so-called “anchor objects”—holding stronger predictions than others. Apart from meaningful objects, global scene properties (e.g., spatial layout or texture) have been shown to predict object identity. In order to tease apart the influence of such ingredients, large-scale databases and machine learning techniques have become increasingly popular. Here, we review recent advances in the field that help to better capture human efficiency in real-world scene and object perception, particularly focusing on which contextual information we take advantage of most and when. Further, we explore how these findings could be useful in pushing computer vision further ahead and how computer vision could mutually further our understanding of human visual perception.
... As measures to evaluate the effects provided to health due to different environments and landscapes are: tests of motor function, behavioral observation, emotional tests, rates of crimes reported by the police, social links with the neighborhood, health self-assessment, frequency of visits to the sick, attention tests, auto-relatos of emotional state, cerebral activity (electroencephalogram), heart rate, interviews/questionnaires, blood pressure, number of days in the hospital after surgery, doses of painkillers during recovery, muscle tension and skin conductance (Velarde et al., 2007). ...
Thesis
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The natural surrounds and resources wrapping hot or mineral springs belong to sustainable matter involving governance and strategic planning of public health, environment, welfare, tourism and mining sectors. Noted it, through the current Brazilian policy demand: social thermalism/hydrotherapy/crenotherapy selected like complementary alternative medicine (CAM) by health ministry law MS 971/2006 (PNPIC), hydro-thermal therapy qualifying DNPM (MME Ordinance 127/2011 and MME 337/2002), health and wellness tourism formally oriented by tourism ministry and environmental management groundwater resources (Resolution MME / CONAMA 396/2008 and MME / CNRH 107/2010). Whereas as fresh potable reserves or potential mineral aquatic strategic deposits, the main biologically active components (BAC) were identified, with their minimum levels needed to related health benefits. Similar to conventional mining prospection, these “cut off grade” detection, at natural occurrences from Brazil, was the major goal in this work. The bibliographic systematic review allowed identify the main bioactive substances (BAC) related to springs sources of elements enougth or proven as health beneficial and at which indications. Wards after, it was performed a georeferenced database with these same variables (BAC) from Brazilian springs. Overlays all through thematic maps assisted in geographical and geological evaluations, whereas, at the end, statistical comparisons filtered target selection at all. The total 60 possible natural BAC and its minimum values for efficacy globally reviewed and established were detected at least one BAC occurrence from 703 mineral springs at 525 Brazilian cities. The arguments utilized were important in demonstrating the abundant and diverse existence of this endowment, where its potential health applications are virtually unknown today.
... Finally, we wanted to further explore how individuals with different NR levels distribute their visual attention between trees and buildings in a mixed setting. Extensive evidence showed that exposure to visual landscapes provides more positive health and well-being benefits than urban scenes (Velarde, Fry, & Tveit, 2007). In contrast to urban scenes, nature scenes also have higher preferences (Kaplan, Kaplan, & Wendt, 1972) and longer viewing time (Berto, 2005; Van den Berg, Joye, & Koole, 2016). ...
Article
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This study explored how nature relatedness (NR) was linked with human eye movements in outdoor space. We created a 360-degree virtual reality scene that contained half urban setting of buildings and half nature area of trees, and recorded 112 participants' eye movements (total visit duration and total fixation duration ratio) during 1 min of free viewing. It was found that individuals’ NR score correlated with their eye movements on the area of interests (AOIs), i.e., total fixation duration ratio on buildings (r (110) = −0.341, p < .001). Further analyses of the correlations between three subscales of NR scale and eye-tracking data revealed that NR-Self was significantly related to eye movements, but not for NR-Perception and NR-Experience. The paired t-tests result showed that people with Low NR score spent more time looking at buildings than trees, while the High NR group did the opposite. For the medium NR group, no distinct eye movements difference between trees and buildings was detected. The outcomes shed light on the divergence of individual visual attention in a mix of natural and built environments. Our finding also determined the efficacy of NR scale with physical measurements of behavior.
... The rationale behind low level of anger and the existence of urban parks might lay on the sense of relief derived from having visual contact with vegetated landscapes (Hedblom et al., 2019;Velarde et al., 2007), which may lead to a reduction in feelings of annoyance (Ulrich, 1979). Instead, the positive relationship between very high level of anger and closeness to natural areas may respond to the progressive loss or degradation of non-artificial vegetated areas in developed cities over the years due to urbanization (Bengtsson et al., 2019;Nguyen et al., 2020). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced alterations in the behaviour and psychological health of people, who have had to learn living under uncertain circumstances escaping their control. This situation has been aggravated in those countries applying strict home confinement rules to try bending their epidemic curve. This is the case of Spain, where the stringent lockdown period was extended over three months. This study aimed at proving a research hypothesis whereby living close to Green Infrastructure (GI) during the confinement period was beneficial for mental health. To this end, La Palma (Canary Islands) and Zaragoza (Peninsular Spain) were taken as case studies, since both locations distributed a questionnaire to address citizenry’s self-reported mental health under strict lockdown conditions. A spatial statistical analysis of the responses collected by these questionnaires revealed that variables such as stress, anger, medication use, alcohol consumption or visits to the doctor significantly decreased if citizens were close to GI, whereas people having very high expectations of enjoying the city after the confinement were positively correlated to proximity of green areas. Although these outcomes are limited by the inferential capacity of correlation analysis, they point out to a sense of relief derived from having visual contact with vegetated landscapes and feeling stimulated about using them for recreation, aesthetical or sporting purposes. The joint consideration of these psychological gains with the social and environmental benefits provided by GI emphasizes the importance of approaching urban regeneration through the design and implementation of interconnected green spaces.
... According to the European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe 2000), the provision of landscaped open spaces creates an increase in public health. Quality of landscape helps encourage or discourage health activities (Gesler 1992;Velarde, Fry, and Tveit 2007). According to Dash (2018), the primary psychological determinants affecting the human perception of a space in terms of its landscape design are related to the five senses, especially sight, sound, and smell. ...
Article
Public spaces are increasingly playing an essential role in the social lives of Riyadh’s residents. This research introduces a theoretical framework to investigate the design elements of public spaces. The framework is applied to study two significant public spaces in Riyadh to deduce their associations to the spaces’ functionality. In addition to the visual study of the two spaces’ compositions, the research applies a hermeneutic phenomenology approach to observe the behavior of the spaces’ users and to explore the impact of design aspects on users’ activities. The findings link the quality of landscape elements, size, geometry, lighting, shading, outdoor furniture, enclosure and aesthetics of public spaces to active involvement of their users.
... Çalışmada tarihî sokak ve cadde görüntülerinde görünür yapı yüzeyi ve peyzaj öğelerinin, güncel sokak ve cadde görüntülerinde ise peyzaj öğelerinin beğeniyi pozitif yönde etkilediği tespit edilmiştir.Sokak ve caddelerdeki peyzaj öğeleri kentlerin görsel estetik kalitesini artırmakta(Kaplan ve diğerleri, 2006;Rogge, Nevens, ve Gulinck, 2007), bireylerin günlük yaşamlarında doğa ile bağlantı kurmalarına aracılık etmekte, özellikle yoğun inşa edilmiş alanlarda insanların maruz kaldığı olumsuz psiko-fizyolojik etkileri hafifletmektedirler(Velarde, Fry ve Tveit, 2007). Sokak ve caddelerdeki peyzaj öğelerinin sokak ve caddelerin çekiciliğini artırdığı pek çok çalışmada belirtilmektedir (Fernandes ve diğerleri, 2019; Bonthoux ve diğerleri, 2019;Hartig ve Staats, 2006) 1984 yılında Wilson tarafından geliştirilmiş olan Biophilia teorisinde insanların doğal şeylere karşı doğuştan gelen çekim duygularının var olduğu belirtilmektedir. ...
... hes the mind. It reliever and improver of public health in an urban socio-physical environment (Sherer, 2006) and play a comprehensive role in fortifying the social, cultural, environmental, psychological and aesthetic sustainability of the urban landscape. The landscape visible to us has a greater impact on human health, aesthetics, and wellbeing (Velarde, et. al., 2007). Various efforts have been made globally to preserve large, untouched ecosystems but little concern is given in maintaining been given to natural and green areas. Leading to the detachment of urban society from nature places are environmentally, economically, ecologically and socially worthy of urban sustainability of the urban communit ...
Article
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Urban parks are riverside gardens, green areas and open places customarily maintained by public or private authorities or by collaborative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and commonly used by the citizens to satisfy complex recreational, physical, political, health and wellbeing demands. Following the rapid urbanization, small and medium-sized urban centres of developing countries, in particular, are facing a tremendous burden of the population influx. The resultant growth of high rises, pollution and congestion are making urban life stressful as well as monotonous. In such a context, this present study offers a synthetic attempt to identify the utility, visitor’s satisfaction and future needs of citizens with special references to two riverside urban parks of the Hooghly district within the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA). 281 citizens (n = 281) responded inperson to a structured questionnaire to express their perception about different aspects of urban parks. This endeavour applies inductive methods to find out people’s opinions and necessities. It has been identified that the most dominant utilities of the parks are passive actions in nature. At the same time, the visitor’s satisfaction level is not up to the mark. The future necessity of urban dwellers is also identified, therefore. This analysis reveals age-specific differences of opinion. Since human behaviour widely differs with changing cultural practices, the importance of identifying the same in diverse social, economic and physical outfits is acknowledged in this study. Furthermore, the study put forwards some recommendations for sustainable future planning of urban parks.
... The basic theoretical model examines the direct effects of UGS on public environmental satisfaction. UGS can improve people's mental health and reduce the negative impact of stressful life events on health (Velarde et al., 2007;Van den Berg et al., 2010). The scale of UGS in a residential environment was related to health and welfare (Van den Berg et al., 2015). ...
Article
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The provision of urban green space is spatially uneven, which has brought challenges in shaping the inequalities of people’s subjective well-being in the developing world. Using panel data of 37 typical cities in China from 2012 to 2017, this study analyzes links of urban green space and environmental satisfaction from urban residents. We divide effects of urban green space into direct parts including scale, coverage rate and accessibility of urban green space, and indirect parts including environmental and economic performance of urban green space, measured by the bootstrap-DEA model. The geographically and temporally weighted regression model is applied to evaluate links. We find that increasing accessibility of urban green space can significantly improve environmental satisfaction, and the economic performance of urban green space is significantly negative with environmental satisfaction. The results also show scale, coverage rate and environmental performance of urban green space insignificantly associated with environmental satisfaction. Additional results show the spatial and temporarily varying about the urban green space–environmental satisfaction relationship over time and space. This study provides empirical evidence for further optimizing the allocation of urban green space.
... Hence, urban areas that are heavily populated will be facing serious environmental degradation, which reduces all the ecosystem services that is part of the natural environment. Consequently, the diminished of these large number of biophysical and cultural services that contribute to health and well-being are going to have considerable impact on the mental and psychological health of the general populations (1)(2)(3)(4). As a public salutogenic resource, urban green space has been brought under the spotlight. ...
Article
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As a kind of informal green space more closely related to the built environment, public rooftop gardens (PRGs) are novel green open space and important salutogenic resource for urban residents. It is one of the most easily accessible method for urban residents to be in contact with outdoor or natural elements from the context of high-altitude living. Given its potential health benefits to city dwellers, existing empirical studies are heavily focused on immediate recovery through visually accessing PRGs (through windows), neglecting the possibility of using PRGs physically as a place of interaction. This paper hypothesizes usage patterns will mediate the associations between the environmental characteristics of PRG and users' restoration. This is done through inputting data from 12 typical samples of PRG in Chengdu, China into structural equation model (SEM). Combining the concept of Perceived Sensory Dimensions (PSD) and Perceived Restorativeness Scales (PRS) with the usage patterns of the above samples, this study aims to examine the correlation of environmental characteristics, usage pattern and restoration, in which identify their relative importance in the context of PRGs. Through serials of numerical tests on the model, the study shows that out of the 20 theoretical pathways constructed by the environmental characteristics (x)–usage patterns (m)–restorative effect (y), only 14 forms a significant correlation. In addition, out of all PSDs, social, serene, refuge, space and nature dimensions are induced into restorative effects through four patterns of use: retreat, nature touch, interpersonal interaction and family-bonding activities. The findings also show that social and family-bonding are the most influential independent and mediating variables respectively in achieving restorative effects in the PRG. This study reveals important findings about how usage patterns mediate the association between the PSD and PRS of users. And it also has generated practical implications on how we can design public rooftop gardens from the perspective of restoration, which could potentially be the key to the future survival and development of PRGs in urban environments.
... air and water purification, limiting noise, stabilizing the microclimate (Bolund and Hunhammar, 1999;Sodoudi et al., 2018;Dipeolu and Ibem, 2020) and by impacting the social and psychological dimensions of life (Chiesura, 2004;Gilbert, 2016). Direct human contact with nature limits stress (Mennis et al., 2018), encourages reflection (Fuller et al., 2007), is conducive to calm and relaxation (Capaldi et al., 2014), and even speeds up convalescence as confirmed by research carried out by Ulrich (1984), Ulrich et al. (1991), and Velarde et al. (2007). The impact of green infrastructure on the inhabitants' quality of life is one of the contemporary and widely analysed research issues, but there are still some knowledge gaps. ...
Article
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Article aims to identify significant relations between the green infrastructure and the life quality in large cities. Paper fulfils a gap referring to lack of research on relations between green infrastructure and the life quality which results are applicable to wider populations. Conducted research allowed to recognise green infrastructure as an important factor affecting the life quality by taking into account populations of 28 large cities in Poland. Employed research procedure, involving cluster analysis and regression method, allowed to conclude that green infrastructure provides an explanation for the variation of the life quality of 15% to 25%. On the one hand, significant, positive relations have been confirmed between green spaces and the life quality aspects like physical well-being, psychological well-being, social well-being, and lower life stress. On the other hand, a negative effect of green spaces has been identified, related to conducing to social pathologies.
... The impact of the natural space is thought to be mediated by a number of factors: (1) the size, type or quality of natural features, (2) the proximity, duration or frequency of exposure, and(3)experience features such as types of interaction or different levels of attention, preference or feelings of personal connection(Bratman et al., 2019;. Empirical studies which have examined the impact of nature exposure to cognition and mental health, have used a number of different ways to measure exposure including proximity to nature(Markevych et al., 2014;McCormick, 2017; Nutsford et al., 2013), natural habitat type (see detailed discussion in Chapter 3;Akpinar et al., 2016;Astell-Burt and Feng, 2019;Barnes et al., 2019;Maes et al., 2021;Velarde et al., 2007;Wheeler et al., 2015), nature dose(Cox et al., 2018;Shanahan et al., 2016Shanahan et al., , 2015 and degree of urbanization (Cox et al., 2018; Engemann et al., 2019), amongst others. Meanwhile, cognition and mental health have been measured as reduced depression and blood pressure (Sarkar et al., 2018; Shanahan et al., 2016), improved attention (Amoly et al., 2014), cognition (Dadvand et al., 2015a), sleep (Shin et al., 2020), and stress recovery (Thompson et al., 2012), amongst others. ...
Thesis
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Challenges remain to sustainably develop urban ecosystems, in part because sustainable development has many environmental, societal and economic dimensions which are intertwined. As part of this challenge, urban ecosystems are increasingly considered to deliver human health benefits, but the association between human health benefits and urban ecosystems, and how this knowledge can inform decision-making remains unclear. Here, I explored how to sustainably develop urban ecosystems by addressing a subset of this challenge, focusing on existing scientific knowledge gaps between human health and urban ecosystem exposure, the barriers to integrate this information into urban ecosystem accounting, and use of these outputs in public policy to inform decision-making related to urban ecosystems. First, I reviewed evidence using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as an analytical framework to show that development of urban ecosystems cannot be addressed without addressing other non-environmental policy objectives and that cross-disciplinary work is needed to resolve the above-mentioned knowledge gaps. Then, using a health dataset of approximately 6,600 children in the London metropolitan area, United Kingdom, I showed that natural environments, particularly woodland, were associated with children’s cognition and mental health, while other types of natural environments had no or weaker associations. Using these insights, I then reviewed international environmental accounting rules and found that these frameworks do not facilitate integration of cognitive and mental health benefits into urban environmental accounts. Finally, I assessed the relevance of environmental accounting to the broader public policy community and showed that environmental accounts have cross-cutting relevance for public sector decision-making. Although progress has been made to understand the role of urban ecosystems for cognition and mental health, key impediments also remain within the science, environmental accounting and public policy blocking progress to sustainably develop these. I see cross-disciplinary coordination structures as indispensable to support sustainable development of urban ecosystems globally.
... The findings that negative affect was reduced by all VR experiences and that were no significant differences between the changes were unexpected, especially considering built environments are well documented as being less or not at all restorative (e.g., Hartig et al., 2003;Takayama et al., 2014;Ulrich et al., 1991;Velarde et al., 2007). Participants cited the absence of activity in the scene as a contributor to a relaxing experience. ...
Article
Introduction Virtual reality (VR) can be extremely useful in simulating nature when physical presence is not possible. Additionally, it allows for environments to be customised (e.g., weather, or topography) and facilitates the design of controlled experimental settings. However, VR can involve the use of expensive equipment and complex software to create highly realistic immersive experiences. But is it necessary for experiences to rival the latest Hollywood blockbuster? This paper explores whether such investment can be valuable in research on nature experiences. Studies Two studies were conducted to examine how realism of environmental presentations impact affective responses and participant perceptions. Study One (n = 16) explored perceptions of the same lake presented to participants in the real world, in VR and as a video. Study Two (n = 120) compared participant's affective responses to one of four possible virtual environments differing in level of realism (high or low) and type (natural or built). Results Study One showed that experiences of VR presentations fell between real and video presentations. Study Two found that more realistic VR environments evoked more positive affective and serenity responses, as well as a greater sense of presence. In both studies, participants stressed the importance of naturalistic interaction, sensory immersion, and graphical realism in the experiences, which may help explain these effects. Conclusion The level of realism that can be attained with VR does impact affective responses and perceptions. Investment in VR for future research can be highly beneficial.
... 壹、前言 (Velarde, Fry, & Tveit, 2007) (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989;Hartig, 1993 ...
Article
The relationship between natural environment and human health has gotten gradually attention. Many studies discussed about getting physical activity from environmental design is best-value healthy lifestyle in one’s lifespan. Natural environment can provide activity or excise, which can promote an increase of physical activity. However, the physical benefits caused by the natural environment were rarely taken seriously. In this study, 30 college students were selected as subjects. Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS Sports Watch and the user preferences and environmental restoration questionnaire were used as the measuring instrument, then we tried to discuss health of the environment from physical activity and environmental psychological restoration aspect. The main findings of this study are as followed: 1. The landscape with sense of restoration is with more natural elements than artificial elements. 2. The subjects prefer to stay where with sense of restoration. But the staying time is not long, maybe because there is not any recreational facility probably. 3. The vantage point in the spatial classification can cause subjects to produce moderate-vigorous physical activity. 4. The landscape with sense of restoration accumulates longer time in light-moderate physical activity.
... (A42, white rural woman, 5/25/2020) Indeed, for many, the greatest contribution of greenspace to their SWB was, as one interviewee put it, "the fact that it exists" (A67, white suburban man, 6/16/2020). The salutary effect of greenspace via "simply existing" is also supported by studies that find positive or maintenance effects on SWB associated with visually accessing greenspace (Velarde et al., 2007;Amerio et al., 2020). While this study did not assess visual access, results clearly suggest the benefit of spending time outdoors appears to derive simply from accessing a greenspace, regardless of type or context. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how the accessibility of greenspace can shift in response to social-ecological disturbance, and generated questions as to how changing dimensions of accessibility affect the ecosystem services of greenspace, such as improved subjective well-being. Amidst the growing consensus of the important role of greenspace in improving and maintaining well-being through times of duress, we examine how access to greenspace is affecting subjective well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the relationship of greenspace to subjective well-being and the barriers to greenspace access are well-established for normal conditions. Much remains to be known, however, about how barriers to access and the effect of greenspace on subjective well-being shift in response to periods of social duress, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from surveys and interviews conducted with 1,200 university students in the United States during the spring of 2020, we assess the effect of going outdoors on subjective well-being, commonly experienced barriers to going outside, and how these barriers in turn affected subjective well-being. We find that time spent outside, particularly in greenspace, correlates with higher levels of subjective well-being, and that concern over COVID-19 risk and transmission negatively affects this relationship both in reducing time spent outdoors and the subjective well-being benefits. We also find that type of greenspace (public vs. private) does not have a significant effect on subjective well-being, that while those in areas with lower population density have significantly higher subjective well-being when outdoors, all participants experience a statistically equal benefit to subjective well-being by going outside. Our findings suggest how understanding the ways dimensions of accessibility shift in response to times of social duress can aid public health messaging, the design and management of greenspace, and environmental justice efforts to support the use of greenspace in improving and maintaining subjective well-being during future crisis events.
... A number of studies have demonstrated positive effects of daily access to nature on mental health (e.g. Velarde et al., 2007;Wang et al., 2018Zhao et al., 2018). Two theories may explain these effects: Attention Restoration Theory (ART; Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989) and ...
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Despite the important roles that animals play in ecosystems, their functions in urban green spaces are often overlooked. To fill this gap, this study explored the effects of four animal species on the mental restorative quality of urban green spaces by comparing observers’ response to pictures with and without animals. The results indicated that swans, deer, and pigeons which were unthreatening to humans could significantly improve mental restoration of observers, and comparatively, swans had the strongest effect. Conversely, unleashed dogs were a potential threat to humans, and decreased the mental restorative quality of urban green spaces. The mechanism of animals’ effects on mental restoration and the differential effects of four animal species were discussed. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study addressing the mental health impacts of animals in landscapes, and the results suggest that “animal-inclusive landscape design” has a positive impact on urban green spaces.
... Generally, natural landscapes have a stronger positive health effect than the urban landscapes. The studies have found that the effects of urban landscapes on health are less positive and, in some cases, even negative (20). Our primary objective in this systematic review and meta-analysis was to quantify the effect of natural and built environments on one facet of psychological well-being, namely, emotional wellbeing. ...
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There is increasing evidence that the natural environment provides substantial benefits to human emotional well-being. The current study synthesized this body of research using the meta-analysis and assessed the positive and negative effects of exposure to both the natural and built environments. We searched four databases and 20 studies were included in the review. The meta-analysis results showed the most convincing evidence that exposure to the natural environment could increase positive affect (standardized mean difference, SMD = 0.61, 95% CI 0.41, 0.81) and decreased negative affect (SMD = −0.47, 95% CI −0.71, −0.24). However, there was extreme heterogeneity between the studies, and the risk of bias was high. According to the subgroup analysis, study region, study design, mean age of the sample, sample size, and type of natural and built environment were found to be important factors during exposure to the natural environment. The implications of these findings for the existing theory and research are discussed. These findings will help convince the health professionals and policymakers to encourage the residents to increase their time spent in the natural environment. These findings of this systematic review also suggested that the creation, maintenance, and enhancement of accessible greenspaces or existing natural environments may form part of a multidimensional approach to increasing emotional well-being of the local populations.
... Nature experience is beneficial for mental and physical wellbeing (Berman et al., 2012;Bratman, Hamilton, & Daily, 2012;Diette, Lechtzin, Hapoink, Devrotes, & Rubin, 2003;Park & Mattson, 2009;Ulrich, 1984;Ulrich et al., 1991;Velarde, Fry, & Tveit, 2007). 'Nature' in this paper refers to elements of living systems such as plants, sunlight, waterbodies, and natural landscapes (Bratman et al., 2012). ...
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Nature experiences promote relaxation and wellbeing. To bring these benefits to people with limited access to nature, digital technologies can be used to provide nature experiences. However, we do not yet completely understand which exact qualities of nature and what mechanisms are involved in eliciting relaxation. To close this gap, we conducted a diary exercise (n=25) to explore interactions and qualities that stimulate relaxation in nature. Results revealed a typology comprising three pathways to promote relaxation through nature experiences: relaxation by sensing, thinking, and doing. In addition, 8 sensorial and 6 contextual qualities were identified, and a visual summary was made that can support designers in applying nature-based stimuli to the design of digital nature with relaxing effects.
... Even looking at the picture of a natural space has positive effects on emotional and mental conditions compared to an urban environment (Hartmann &Apaolaza, 2010).It was shown in a s tudy that positive emotions (focus, passion, and power) in citizens, who are exposed to the natural environment for more than 5 hours a month, are much more compared with people who were less or never exposed to it. New theories, such as Ulrich's s tress recovery theory, have predicted that natural landscapes reduce s tress, while environments dense with buildings and with little open and green spaces, delay the s tress treatment (Velarde et al., 2007). In addition to the items lis ted, the positive effects of being in nature may be due to the effects of colors on humans. ...
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ABS TRACT: Our modern society is filled with s tressful s timuli that impact our daily lives, and lead to problems that eventually threaten our mental and psychological wellbeing. Expanding urban life and urbanizing people's interactions have dras tically increased and resulted in more s tressful circums tances. Unfortunately, the role of nature and nature-based design in our urban societies as an alternative in reducing the impact of unhealthy and s tressful situations produced by our modern and urbanized life s tyle has been neglected. Considering the fact that human beings are social creatures and their surroundings affect them both mentally and psychologically; hence, the s tudy of psychological impacts of nature and nature-based design is both essential and necessary in our fas t evolving urban societies. This research inves tigates nature-based design and the short-term observational impacts and benefits of urban societies' interaction with nature on different aspects of human psychology including perceived res toratives', mental health and vitality and creativity. The participants in the two sample groups observed two different urban areas. One was a building complex in Isfahan city center and the other was an urban park in Isfahan. In the end, the participants filled out a comprehensive psychological ques tionnaire assessing the effects environment on different dimensions of human psyche. Our results demons trate that even short-term interaction with nature and nature-based designs had positive effects one's psychological wellbeing, and therefore, our finding show that urban designs and architecture intertwined with nature were crucial in protecting and improving human mental health and wellbeing.
... For example, multiple studies have found that exposure to trees and plants can reduce short-term markers of stress such as heart rate, blood pressure and salivary cortisol 14,15 . Much of this impact is probably mediated aesthetically, because multiple studies have demonstrated that simply viewing images of a natural scene has a similar stress-reducing effect as being exposed to the scene itself 16 . Roger Ulrich, one of the pioneers of green-health research, noted that vision is by far our most Letters NATuRE PlANTs important sense in terms of yielding information about outdoor environments 17 . ...
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The health benefits of exposure to trees and plants is a rapidly expanding field of study. Research has shown that exposure is associated with improvements in a wide range of health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, birth outcomes, respiratory disease, cancer, mental health and all-cause mortality 1. One of the challenges that these studies face is characterizing participants' exposure to trees and plants. A common approach is to use the normalized difference vegetation index, a greenness index typically derived from satellite imagery. Reliance on the normalized difference vegetation index is understandable; for decades, the imagery required to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index has been available for the entire Earth's surface and is updated at regular intervals. However, the normalized difference vegetation index may do a poor job of fully characterizing the human experience of being exposed to trees and plants, because scenes with the same normalized difference vegetation index value can appear different to the human eye. We demonstrate this phenomenon by identifying sites in Portland, Oregon that have the same normalized difference vegetation index value as a large, culturally significant elm tree. These sites are strikingly different aesthetically, suggesting that use of the normalized difference vegetation index may lead to exposure misclassification. Where possible, the normalized difference vegetation index should be supplemented with other exposure metrics.
... Nature experience is beneficial for mental and physical wellbeing (Berman et al., 2012;Bratman, Hamilton, & Daily, 2012;Diette, Lechtzin, Hapoink, Devrotes, & Rubin, 2003;Park & Mattson, 2009;Ulrich, 1984;Ulrich et al., 1991;Velarde, Fry, & Tveit, 2007). 'Nature' in this paper refers to elements of living systems such as plants, sunlight, waterbodies, and natural landscapes (Bratman et al., 2012). ...
Conference Paper
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Nature experiences promote relaxation and wellbeing. To bring these benefits to people with limited access to nature, digital technologies can be used to provide nature experiences. However, we do not yet completely understand which exact qualities of nature and what mechanisms are involved in eliciting relaxation. To close this gap, we conducted a diary exercise (n=25) to explore interactions and qualities that stimulate relaxation in nature. Results revealed a typology comprising three pathways to promote relaxation through nature experiences: relaxation by sensing, thinking, and doing. In addition, 8 sensorial and 6 contextual qualities were identified, and a visual summary was made that can support designers in applying nature-based stimuli to the design of digital nature with relaxing effects.
... The access to the natural environment has an important recreational value for human well-being by reducing the stress impact (Björk et al. 2008;Lafortezza et al. 2009). Therefore, current knowledge predicts that the state of the environment can influence life quality through mental, psychological, physical or physiological processes (de Hollander et al. 1999;Velarde et al. 2007;Nisbet et al. 2010). ...
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Most studies of life quality are concentrated on a country-level scale, while local differences within a country or area are less studied. Thus, the effect of the environment on life quality on a local scale remains understudied and is often represented by one generalized common factor. In this study, we investigated the effect of an objectively measured environmental quality variable and subjective reflections of this (perceptions of environmental quality) in relation to life quality in a coastal community. Hence, we tested the effect of objective and subjective water quality measures using a model, accounting for other traditional variables (e.g., income and health) that predict life quality variations. Our findings indicate that perceptions of the environment are strongly associated with life quality, whereas objectively measured environmental quality is associated with life quality to a lesser extent. Thus, our results suggest that the impact of the environment on life quality is mediated via the way the environment is perceived (psychological effects) and less by the actual conditions of the environment.
... In this study, individuals showed an aesthetic preference for images that carried a label of being more natural. This is inline with previous studies (Kaplan et al. 1972;Velarde et al. 2007). These features were green/yellow (lower) hues, diversity in color saturation (SDSat), defragmented-curvy surfaces/less presence of straight edges, (in objects such as shrubbery, waterfalls, rocks, and bodies of water), which were all implicated in predicting aesthetic preference (Kardan et al. 2015). ...
Chapter
Recent research has quantified aspects of the built environment to understand which visual features may play a role in environmental preferences and behavior. The occurrence of different low-level (e.g., spatial and color properties) and mid-level features (e.g., objects) that mimic patterns seen in nature may influence the quality of pedestrian experiences in urban environments. For example, buildings harboring low-level visual features/patterns that mimic that of nature were perceived to be more naturalistic and significantly predicted preference ratings for architectural scenes. In addition, mid-level visual features with natural elements (e.g., green plants, trees) existing in urban environments increased positive pedestrian experiences, such as feelings of safety, liveliness and beauty. By quantifying visual characteristics and design qualities, one can relate more abstract aspects of an urban space to quantifiable design features, which provides the opportunity to establish a causal relationship between design features and psychological feelings such as walkability, preference, visual complexity and disorder. This research combining perception, computer vision and urban design could help to create more preferable and walkable urban centers.
Chapter
Visits to the forest are particularly beneficial to health as a multi-sensory experience.
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There are landscapes that have a higher aesthetic appeal than others. This may be culturally, historically and individually different in perception, yet there seem to be landscapes and specific landscape elements that are preferred by many people in equal measure. Explanations for this can be found in the evolution of man.
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With the exponential growth in population and commensurate increased density in urban cities, access to daylight and views to nature is being severely curtailed in buildings. In parallel, increasingly urgent demands to sharply reduce building energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions are being made to mitigate climate change. There are many challenges and performance tradeoffs associated with the building facade (i.e., daylight and view versus solar and glare control); increased prioritization of health and well-being as a fundamental human requirement could adversely affect building energy-efficiency. Given the current state of knowledge on the effects of daylight and view on health and well-being in buildings, we identify critical needs in research, tools and technologies that if satisfied may enable more effective use of daylight and view in buildings within the constraints of climate change. Lack of knowledge regarding the complex causal mechanisms of window views on human factors is a severely limiting factor in forward progress. Current models and methods to derive bidirectional scattering distribution functions (BSDFs) will need to be modified. Developers of energy-efficient window technologies will need more guidance to shape product development. Advanced window technologies and integrated design can enable attainment of both health and well-being and net zero energy goals, but considerable work will be needed to make such options turnkey and broadly available.
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Γεωργίσης, Α., Τσατήρης, Μ., Δήμου Β. 2021. ΠΕΡΙΒΑΛΛΟΝΤΙΚΗ ΦΟΡΟΛΟΓΙΑ-ΕΝΕΡΓΕΙΑΚΟΙ ΦΟΡΟΙ: ΕΝΑ ΧΡΗΣΙΜΟ ΕΡΓΑΛΕΙΟ ΑΣΚΗΣΗΣ ΠΕΡΙΒΑΛΛΟΝΤΙΚΗΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗΣ. Επιστημονική Επετηρίδα Τμήματος Δασολογίας και Διαχείρισης Περιβάλλοντος και Φυσικών Πόρων. Δημοκρίτειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θράκης. Θέματα Δασολογίας και Διαχείρισης Περιβάλλοντος και Φυσικών Πόρων. 13ος Τόμος: Κλιματική Αλλαγή στην Ανθρωπόκαινο Εποχή, σελ. 55-76.
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This paper documents the United States military’s use of landscape as an active warfighting tool during Operation Enduring Freedom. A selection of declassified projects that outline plans for tree plantings, which range in scale and design intensity from individual tree replacement to urban park improvements and large-scale reforestation efforts, demonstrate a consistent weaponization of the physical and mental health benefits that result from exposure to green space. Together, the examples show how landscape design tactics can subdue counterinsurgency by promoting stability through social control and improving the mental health of local civilians. Finally, the paper offers a lens to understand the associations between health and landscape as a matter of military interest and political concern and, ultimately, as subject to control and resistance.
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Purpose This literature review paper aims to discuss the impacts and measures taken on Covid-19 with respect to architecture, built form and its allied fields along with observations from around the world with the end results of its implementation. Design/methodology/approach Various research journals from Science Direct and Taylor and Francis among others were referred and reviewed to learn more on Covid-19 along with its impacts on people and their built environment. Keywords that aligned with the topic of interest like pandemic, Covid-19, coronavirus, urban spaces, built environment and built-up space were identified. Research papers that aligned with the scope of the paper and its keywords were found. An excel sheet with the basic data of these papers was written down. The essence of each of these articles were understood and linked with the topic in hand. A review of all these papers was written coherently to the topic. Future scope in this field of study was also identified. Findings It discusses the various measures taken around the world in built-up spaces along with the various measures given by researchers, architects and urban planners to mitigate and reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in the built environment and urban spaces. The discussed measures along with observations from around the world have also been discussed with its end results. Discussions and conclusions on these design strategies and recommendations are made with the anticipation of a paradigm shift due to post-pandemic changes. Current scenarios of public spaces in densely populated countries are discussed. Future scope in this ongoing field of study includes measures that can be taken in specific to some particular built-up typologies like markets, theaters, parks, bazaars, etc. Research limitations/implications The limitation of this study is the restricting of the study of Covid-19 to only architectural, urban and public realm scales. The study does not facilitate the involvement of other fields and their influence with Covid-19. Originality/value This paper has been completely written by the author and the co-authors and has not been copied from any other sources.
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The architectural and urban environment has played an important role in confronting viruses, and human history has witnessed many experiments, during which the modifications made to the designs of the built environment contributed to successes in confronting epidemics. Which makes the use of the architectural and urban environment as one of the solutions to combat viruses is critical to confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has become one of the most dangerous challenges that have changed our contemporary world due to the rapid spread of infection and the highly influential social and economic effects. So it has become a challenge for the designers of the architectural and urban environment. The research paper reviews the importance of designing the architectural and urban environment in a way that limits the transmission of viruses and combats the spread of infection, taking advantage of security protection systems against viruses in the digital world, which have special capabilities to confront viruses. It also aims to add experiences to overcome future crises similar to the outbreak of viruses. The research also presents the perception of architecture and urbanism after the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the validity of its hypothesis by presenting the fundamental transformations that occurred in architecture and human urbanization after the world passed through the outbreak of epidemics during modern history, as it has been proven throughout human history that architecture and urbanization develop after passing through the crisis of the outbreak of epidemics and did not It remains as it was before it, as it has set many governing standards to address any similar crisis and has evolved from the architectural dealing with it. The research concludes with a set of questions that require further study to be answered. So that we can develop designs that rehabilitate the architectural and urban environment and benefit from security protection systems against viruses in the digital world to combat the COVID-19 virus, stop its spread or reduce potential risks as soon as possible.
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Research suggests that the formation of neighborhood social ties (NSTs) may substantially depend on the informal social contact which occurs in neighborhood common spaces, and that in inner‐city neighborhoods where common spaces are often barren no‐man's lands, the presence of trees and grass supports common space use and informal social contact among neighbors. We found that for 145 urban public housing residents randomly assigned to 18 architecturally identical buildings, levels of vegetation in common spaces predict both use of common spaces and NSTs; further, use of common spaces mediated the relationship between vegetation and NSTS. In addition, vegetation and NSTs were significantly related to residents' senses of safety and adjustment. These findings suggest that the use and characteristics of common spaces may play a vital role in the natural growth of community, and that improving common spaces may be an especially productive focus for community organizing efforts in inner‐city neighborhoods.
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緑地の視覚心理的効果を明らかにするために, 本実験では生垣, ブロック塀, さらに緑量的にそれらの中間的な段階の視覚対象として樹木とブロックの比が2:5, 4:3, 5:2となる場合の5つの対象物をみたときの脳波, 特にα波β波について分析を行った。 その結果, α波とβ波の合計値に占めるα波の割合が, ブロックに対する樹木の割合が半分以上になると高くなる傾向を示した。 一般に, 安静時にはα波が増え, 緊張時にはβ波が増えると言われていることから, この傾向はブロックが緊張感をもたらし, 樹木はそれを和らげる効果があることを示唆するものであることが明らかになった。
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The findings suggest that stressed individuals feel significantly better after exposure to nature scenes rather than to American urban scenes lacking nature elements. Compared to the influences of the urban scenes, the salient effect of the nature exposures was to increase Positive Affect — including feelings of affection friendliness, playfulness, and elation. The increase in positive affect produced by the nature scenes is consistent with the finding that the nature exposures also significantly reduced Fear Arousal. According to psychological theories, a reduction in arousal or activation produces pleasurable feelings if an individual is experiencing stress or excessive arousal (Berlyne, 1971, pp. 81–82). In contrast to the nature scenes, the urban views tended to work against emotional well‐being. The major effect of the urban scenes was to significantly increase Sadness. There was also a consistent but non‐significant tendency for the urban scenes to‐aggravate feelings of Anger/Aggression, and for the nature scenes to reduce such feelings. The urban exposures also held the attention of subjects somewhat less effectively than the nature exposures. These findings were stable across sexes, and applied to subjects who had grown up in either rural or urban environments.
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Research has shown that people typically give high aesthetic preference ratings to trees with spreading canopies, similar to those found on the African savanna. If the savanna hypothesis is correct, people likely will have strong emotional responses to such trees as well. In this study, preferences and emotional responses of 206 participants to viewing scenes with different tree forms and urban elements were examined. Slide images of spreading, rounded, or columnar trees, or inanimate objects in two urban scenes were created. As expected, participants found scenes with trees more attractive than scenes with inanimate objects, and they rated spreading trees more attractive than rounded or columnar trees. Participants reported more positive emotions when viewing trees compared to inanimate objects, and they were happier when viewing spreading trees compared with other tree forms. These results are consistent with the savanna hypothesis, with emotional responses relating to preferences for trees with spreading forms.
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Although vegetation has been positively linked to fear of crime and crime in a number of settings, recent findings in urban residential areas have hinted at a possible negative relationship: Residents living in "greener" surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less aggressive and violent behavior. This study used police crime reports to examine the relationship between vegetation and crime in an inner-city neighborhood. Crime rates for 98 apartment buildings with varying levels of nearby vegetation were compared. Results indicate that although residents were randomly assigned to different levels of nearby vegetation, the greener a building's surroundings were, the fewer crimes reported. Furthermore, this pattern held for both property crimes and violent crimes. The relationship of vegetation to crime held after the number of apartments per building, building height, vacancy rate, and number of occupied units per building were accounted for.
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Subjects viewed sixty color slides of either (1) nature with water, (2) nature dominated by vegetation, or (3) urban environments without water or vegetation. The information rates of the three slide samples were equivalent. Measurements were taken of the effects of the slide presentations on alpha amplitude, heart rate, and emotional states. Results revealed several significant differences as a function of environment, which together indicate that the two categories of nature views had more positive influences on psychophysiological states than the urban scenes. Alpha was significantly higher during the vegetation as opposed to urban slides; similarly, alpha was higher on the average when subjects viewed water rather than urban content. There was also a consistent pattern for nature, especially water, to have more positive influences on emotional states. A salient finding was that water, and to a lesser extent vegetation views, held attention and interest more effectively than the urban scenes. Implications of the findings for theory development in environmental aesthetics are discussed.
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S. Kaplan suggested that one outcome of mental fatigue may be an increased propensity for outbursts of anger and even violence. If so, contact with nature, which appears to mitigate mental fatigue, may reduce aggression and violence. This study investigated that possibility in a setting and population with relatively high rates of aggression: inner-city urban public housing residents. Levels of aggression were compared for 145 urban public housing residents randomly assigned to buildings with varying levels of nearby nature (trees and grass). Attentional functioning was assessed as an index of mental fatigue. Residents living in relatively barren buildings reported more aggression and violence than did their counterparts in greener buildings. Moreover, levels of mental fatigue were higher in barren buildings, and aggression accompanied mental fatigue. Tests for the proposed mechanism and for alternative mechanisms indicated that the relationship between nearby nature and aggression was fully mediated through attentional functioning.
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During the past 20 years, findings have indicated that nature plays an active role in helping people recover from stress and fatigue. Two of the most cited theories in this field are Rachel and Stephen Kaplan's theory of recovery from Directed Attention Fatigue in nature and Roger Ulrich's theory of aesthetic and affective responses to natural environments and stress recovery. One aim of the present study is to test whether being outdoors in a green recreational environment causes people to be more focused, compared to being in a room indoors (in line with hypotheses suggested by the Kaplans). Another aim is to test whether people experience stress reduction, i.e. as evidenced by changes in blood pressure and heart rate, if they are placed in an environment with many green elements (in line with hypotheses suggested by Ulrich). The overall study design is that of an intervention study. Fifteen elderly persons living at a home for very elderly people participated. Their powers of concentration, blood pressure and heart rate were measured before and after an hour of rest in a garden or in an indoor setting. Seven elderly people were randomly chosen to have their first series of tests in a garden, while eight elderly people had their first series of tests indoors. The results indicate that powers of concentration increase for very elderly people after a visit to a garden outside the geriatric home in which they live, compared to that after resting indoors in their favourite room. The results did not show any effects on blood pressure or heart rate. It is suggested that having a one-hour rest outdoors in a garden setting plays a role in elderly people's powers of concentration, and could thereby affect their performance of activities of daily living. One important factor in this study was that both the outdoor environment and the indoor environment at the home were highly valued by participants.
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Examined whether the presence of nearby nature might lend urban public housing residents the psychological resources to grapple with the challenges facing them. More specifically, it examines whether natural elements in the public housing outdoor environment—trees and grass—can assist in restoring the very psychological resources likely to be depleted in the struggle against poverty. In 145 urban public housing residents randomly assigned to buildings with and without nearby nature, attentional functioning and effectiveness in managing major life issues were compared. Residents living in buildings without nearby trees and grass reported more procrastination in facing their major issues and assessed their issues as more severe, less soluble, and more longstanding than did their counterparts living in greener surroundings. Mediation tests and extensive tests for possible confounds supported the attention restoration hypothesis—that green space enhances residents' effectiveness by reducing mental fatigue. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Environmental preferences vary with the environments evaluated and the people who evaluated them. When research has considered the explanatory power of person variables, it has focused on traits or demographic characteristics. Little research has considered how environmental preferences vary with regularly occurring psychological states, such as attentional fatigue. In this experiment, we investigated the need for psychological restoration as a within-individual determinant of the common preference differential between natural and urban environments. We treated preference as an attitude, constituted of beliefs about the likelihood of restoration during a walk in a given environment and the evaluation of restoration given different restoration needs. College students (N=103) completed the procedure just before a morning lecture (less fatigue condition) or immediately after an afternoon lecture, which itself followed the passage of time and other activities over the day (more fatigue condition). In both fatigue conditions, participants reported more favorable attitudes toward a walk in a forest than a walk in a city center, but this difference was larger with the more fatigued. This result apparently owes to the more fatigued participants’ more positive evaluation of attentional recovery, and a greater judged likelihood of restoration when walking in the forest.
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We used a direct rating approach based on definitions of each construct to measure the four components of a restorative environment proposed by attention restoration theory (ART): being away, extent, fascination, and compatibility. We used the same approach to measure two criterion variables, perceived restorative potential (PRP) of a setting and preference for the setting, as well as four additional predictor variables (openness, visual access, movement ease, and setting care). Each participant rated 70 settings, 35 each from urban and natural environments, for only one of the variables. Mean ratings were higher for the natural than the urban settings for both criterion variables and all four restorative components, with differences significant in all cases except for fascination. Correlations across settings generally followed the predictions of ART, but collinearity appeared among several sets of variables, most notably being away and setting category, PRP and preference, and extent and fascination. Despite these problems, regression analysis showed that being away and compatibility predicted PRP and that the pattern of prediction for PRP and preference was somewhat different. r 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
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Research suggests that the formation of neighborhood social ties (NSTs) may substantially depend on the informal social contact which occurs in neighborhood common spaces, and that in inner-city neighborhoods where common spaces are often barren no-man's lands, the presence of trees and grass supports common space use and informal social contact among neighbors. We found that for 145 urban public housing residents randomly assigned to 18 architecturally identical buildings, levels of vegetation in common spaces predict both use of common spaces and NSTs; further, use of common spaces mediated the relationship between vegetation and NSTS. In addition, vegetation and NSTs were significantly related to residents' senses of safety and adjustment. These findings suggest that the use and characteristics of common spaces may play a vital role in the natural growth of community, and that improving common spaces may be an especially productive focus for community organizing efforts in inner-city neighborhoods.
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Our purpose was to investigate perceived tranquility (theoretically a combination of moderate fascination and aesthetic pleasure) and perceived danger in urban and natural settings. We explored the relationship of these two target variables to each other and to a set of three predictor variables: openness, setting care, and nature (amount of foliage and vegetation). Participants rated each of 48 color slides, evenly divided between urban and field/forest natural settings, for only one of the five variables. Several predictions derived from Attention Restoration Theory for tranquility and from a review of the environmental criminology literature for danger were supported: (1) tranquility was rated higher in natural than in urban settings, and the reverse was true for danger; (2) tranquility and danger were negatively correlated across all settings; (3) the three predictor variables were generally positively related to tranquility and negatively related to danger. Two variations from the general pattern of results emerged in model-testing analyses that controlled for setting category and the presence of other predictors. First, the negative relationship between setting care and perceived danger was stronger for urban than for natural settings, indicating that setting care is more salient for judgments of danger in urban settings. Second, openness was a significant predictor of danger (a negative relationship) but not of tranquility. These variations suggest that tranquility and danger probably should be viewed not as polar opposites but as distinct constructs.
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This study evaluates three healing gardens surrounding a pediatric cancer center. All gardens contained seating, flowers and plants, but varied in size, features, and in user groups’ access to them. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) yielded a dataset of 1400 garden-users for whom demographic information, activities, and length-of-stay were recorded. Results indicate differential usage patterns across gardens, user category (patient, visitor, or staff), and age (adults and children). The largest garden with most direct patient access was the most used. Staff mostly used the gardens to walk-through or to sit and eat, rarely interacting with features intended for active engagement. Despite patient and child-friendly designs, the overwhelming majority of visitors were adults who mostly engaged in sedentary activities. Children who did use the gardens interacted with garden features significantly more than adults. Although patient rooms are situated at ground-level around the gardens to promote window views of the gardens, the findings suggest an inverse relationship between patient window use and the number of people in the gardens. Finally, preliminary data suggest that emotional distress and pain are lower for all groups when in the gardens than when inside the hospital. Provisional design implications of these findings are discussed.
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Different conceptual perspectives converge to predict that if individuals are stressed, an encounter with most unthreatening natural environments will have a stress reducing or restorative influence, whereas many urban environments will hamper recuperation. Hypotheses regarding emotional, attentional and physiological aspects of stress reducing influences of nature are derived from a psycho-evolutionary theory. To investigate these hypotheses, 120 subjects first viewed a stressful movie, and then were exposed to color/sound videotapes of one of six different natural and urban settings. Data concerning stress recovery during the environmental presentations were obtained from self-ratings of affective states and a battery of physiological measures: heart period, muscle tension, skin conductance and pulse transit time, a non-invasive measure that correlates with systolic blood pressure. Findings from the physiological and verbal measures converged to indicate that recovery was faster and more complete when subjects were exposed to natural rather than urban environments. The pattern of physiological findings raised the possibility that responses to nature had a salient parasympathetic nervous system component; however, there was no evidence of pronounced parasympathetic involvement in responses to the urban settings. There were directional differences in cardiac responses to the natural vs urban settings, suggesting that attention/intake was higher during the natural exposures. However, both the stressor film and the nature settings elicited high levels of involuntary or automatic attention, which contradicts the notion that restorative influences of nature stem from involuntary attention or fascination. Findings were consistent with the predictions of the psycho-evolutionary theory that restorative influences of nature involve a shift towards a more positively-toned emotional state, positive changes in physiological activity levels, and that these changes are accompanied by sustained attention/intake. Content differences in terms of natural vs human-made properties appeared decisive in accounting for the differences in recuperation and perceptual intake.
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The population of the United States of America is currently experiencing increased illness from dispersed and synergistic causes. Many of the acute insults of the past have receded due to centralized health care and regulatory action. However, chronic ailments including asthma and allergies, animal-transmitted diseases, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression are on the rise. These diverse illnesses join with forest fragmentation, stream degradation, wetlands destruction, and the concomitant loss of native species to suggest detrimental contributions from the built environment.
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Most work on healing places has involved sites associated with the Western cultural tradition and expressed in focused locations. This paper examines a non-Western culture and a diffuse landscape of healing. Everything in Navajo culture could be called 'religious,' in that religious feeling cannot be separated from any aspect of a traditional Navajo life. Much of this religious feeling is embodied in the landscape itself. This article explores the ways in which the physical landscape, the spiritual landscape, the symbolic landscape, and the built environment-intertwine and interact to produce a sacred geography which functions as a healing landscape.
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This study reports on the development and psychometric validation of a perceived restorative components scale for children (PRCS-C). Children (n=112 boys, n=113 girls) aged 8 to 11 years completed an initial pool of 23 items addressing the components of a restorative environment to assess two familiar, everyday environments- their school playground and their school library. Factor analysis indicated a five-factor model (Being Away– Physical, Being Away- Psychological, Fascination, Compatibility and Extent) of 15 items best fit the data, consistent with prior adult restorativeness measure research and fitting within Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory. Satisfactory internal consistency was found for four of the five factors, with a two-item construct of Extent being lowest. School playgrounds had significantly higher restoration potential than school libraries, when compared with school classrooms, indicating divergent validity of the measure. Results were examined by sex and age and differences reported as a broad indicator of the measure’s ability to differentiate between groups of people’s reports of perceived restorativeness and possible developmental differences.
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The increase in stress and stress-related ill- health is escalating dramatically in the Western World. An alarmingly growing part of the bud- get for medical services in Sweden is being used for people suffering from different stress-rela- ted ill-health. In this paper, we present some results from a study in which 656 randomly selected people in nine Swedish cities answered a questionnaire addressing their experiences of stress and their use of green outdoor environments at their workplaces. The results may be interpreted as showing that access to a garden at work may have a positive impact both on stress and on "trivsel", a Swedish word meaning comfort, pleasure and well-being. Apart from actually being in a garden, a view of a garden may also decrease employees' level of stress and affect trivsel in a positive way. According to our results, laying out more and easily accessible gardens adjacent to workplaces could create environments that are more resto- rative and freer from demands and stress.
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Research and teaching in environmental health have centered on the hazardous effects of various environmental exposures, such as toxic chemicals, radiation, and biological and physical agents. However, some kinds of environmental exposures may have positive health effects. According to E.O. Wilson’s “biophilia” hypothesis, humans are innately attracted to other living organisms. Later authors have expanded this concept to suggest that humans have an innate bond with nature more generally. This implies that certain kinds of contact with the natural world may benefit health. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is presented from four aspects of the natural world: animals, plants, landscapes, and wilderness. Finally, the implications of this hypothesis for a broader agenda for environmental health, encompassing not only toxic outcomes but also salutary ones, are discussed. This agenda implies research on a range of potentially healthful environmental exposures, collaboration among professionals in a range of disciplines from public health to landscape architecture to city planning, and interventions based on research outcomes.
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The paper reports on a study that looks at the impact of a corrections environment upon prisoners through a process of monitoring inmate attendance at sick call clinic. Contrasting cell block designs and characteristics are compared on the basis of significant differential demands for health care services emanating from specific areas. Known psychological and physiological responses to situations perceived to be threatening provide the theory that health behavior may be used as one indirect measure of environmentally induced stress. Findings suggest there are architectural design features of the prison environment that provide basis of perceived threats to inmate safety and survival. Loss of privacy on several dimensions appears to be a critical environmental characteristic.
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This article investigates the direct and indirect effects of windows in the workplace onjob satisfaction, intention to quit, and general well-being. The impact of three specific influencing mechanisms are examined: general level of illumination, sunlight penetration, and view. The extent to which these environmental features might moderate the negative consequences of job stress is investigated. The sample consisted of 100 white-and blue-collar workers who were employed in a large wine-producing organization in the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. The results showed a significant direct effect for sunlight penetration on job satisfaction, intention to quit, and general well-being. A view of natural elements (i.e., trees, vegetation, plants, and foliage) was found to buffer the negative impact of job stress on intention to quit and to have a similar, albeit marginal, effect on general well-being. No effects for general level of illumination were found.
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A new direction for medical geographic study is suggested, the analysis of places which have attained an enduring reputation for achieving physical, mental, and spiritual healing. The reasons for the efficacy of these therapeutic landscapes can be examined by using themes derived from the traditional landscape ideas of cultural geography, humanistic geography, structuralist geography, and the principles of holistic health. These themes are categorized as inner/meaning (including the natural setting, the built environment, sense of place, symbolic landscapes, and everyday activities) and outer/societal context (including beliefs and philosophies, social relations and/or inequalities, and territoriality). By using a methodology termed an 'archaeology of discourse' in which written and oral documents are examined, the themes are used to investigate the healing reputation of the Asclepian sanctuary at Epidauros, Greece. Study findings have policy implications for health-care practice today.
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Abstract The ‘restorative environment’ concept sees considerable use in the ,environment-behaviour-design field these days. Much of the ,concept’s appeal has to do ,with how ,it helps us to ,relate health to experiences in natural environments. With this paper I offer some,support for efforts to develop,and apply knowledge,about restorative environments,as health,resources. I will also share some,thoughts onwhere,we stand,with research on restorative environments,and where research in the area can go next. More specifically, I will discuss how we define restoration; a general framework for theories about restorative environments; some,requirements of empirical tests of those theories; and the public health vs. therapeutic values of restorative environments. Keywords:Natural environments; restoration; restorative environments; stress
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Withdrawal of land from agricultural production is creating possibilities for reafforestation in several areas of Europe. Reafforestation can serve recreational as well as ecological goals. The present study considers the effects of two ecologically significant forest design characteristics, accessibility and vegetation density, on mood, an outcome relevant to recreational planning. It simultaneously addresses the more general question of how changes in mood correspond to movement through an environment. The two forest design variables were manipulated both between and within subjects in a two (high accessibility vs interrupted accessibility) by two (dense vs half-open vegetation) by four (consecutive forest sections) design. The experimental manipulations combined sets of sequential photographic slides with verbal descriptions regarding aspects of accessibility (i.e. presence vs absence of a path, passableness, possibilities for orientation). Subjects (n=98) were randomly sampled residents of Leiden, recruited by telephone and screened for prior hiking experience. All provided seven affective appraisals for two preliminary recreational area sections and then the four experimental forest sections. The affective appraisals could be interpreted in terms of arousal and pleasure dimensions of mood. Arousal and pleasure scores were both affected by the accessibility manipulations in keeping with expectations while the manipulations of vegetation density were somewhat less influential.
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The nearby natural environment plays a far more significant role in the well-being of children residing in poor urban environments than has previously been recognized. Using a premove/postmove longitudinal design, this research explores the linkage between the naturalness or restorativeness of the home environment and the cognitive functioning of 17 low-income urban children (aged 7–12 yrs). Both before and after relocation, objective measures of naturalness were used along with a standardized instrument (the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale) measuring the children's cognitive functioning. Results show that children whose homes improved the most in terms of greenness following relocation also tended to have the highest levels of cognitive functioning following the move. The implications with respect to policy and design are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A considerable body of folklore and scientific research alludes to the efficacy of the vernacular environment to influence both aesthetic experience and general well-being. To examine explicitly whether stress recovery and/or immunization varies as a function of the roadside environment, 160 college-age participants, both male and female, viewed one of four different video-taped simulated drives through outdoor environments immediately following and preceding mildly stressful events. Overall, it was anticipated that participants who viewed artifact-dominated drives, relative to participants who viewed nature-dominated drives, would show greater autonomic activity indicative of stress (e.g. elevated blood pressure and electrodermal activity), as well as show altered somatic activity indicative of greater negative affect (e.g. elevated electromyographic (EMG) activity over the brow region and decreased activity over the cheek region). In addition, it was expected that participants who viewed nature-dominated drives would experience quicker recovery from stress and greater immunization to subsequent stress than participants who viewed artifact-dominated drives. The overall pattern of results is consistent with both hypotheses and the findings are interpreted to support postulating a sympathetic-specific mechanism that underlies the effect of nature on stress recovery and immunization.
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Theory and research dealing with place identity and restorative environments have for the most part proceeded independently. Assuming that emotional- and self-regulation are processes underlying the development of place identity, and that a person's favorite place is an exemplar of environments used in such regulation processes, the present study goes beyond preliminary observations about restorative aspects of favorite places to consider how individuals evaluate their favorite places using terms set out in restorative environments theory. Finnish university students (n=78) evaluated the central square of their city (Tampere) and favorite and unpleasant places of their own designation using the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS), an instrument based on attention restoration theory. Consistent with notions of self-regulation, PRS subscale scores for Being Away, Fascination, Coherence, and Compatibility were all high in the favorite place evaluations, but Coherence and Compatibility were reliably higher than Being Away, which was in turn reliably higher than Fascination. Also, PRS subscale scores for the favorite places were reliably higher than those for the central square, which were in turn higher than those for the unpleasant places. Furthermore, differences were also found in self-reported emotional states associated with each place. The discussion suggests ways to develop further mutually reinforcing relations between restorative environments research and research on place identity.
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We compared psychophysiological stress recovery and directed attention restoration in natural and urban field settings using repeated measures of ambulatory blood pressure, emotion, and attention collected from 112 randomly assigned young adults. To vary restoration needs, we had half of the subjects begin the environmental treatment directly after driving to the field site. The other half completed attentionally demanding tasks just before the treatment. After the drive or the tasks, sitting in a room with tree views promoted more rapid decline in diastolic blood pressure than sitting in a viewless room. Subsequently walking in a nature reserve initially fostered blood pressure change that indicated greater stress reduction than afforded by walking in the urban surroundings. Performance on an attentional test improved slightly from the pretest to the midpoint of the walk in the nature reserve, while it declined in the urban setting. This opened a performance gap that persisted after the walk. Positive affect increased and anger decreased in the nature reserve by the end of the walk; the opposite pattern emerged in the urban environment. The task manipulation affected emotional self-reports. We discuss implications of the results for theories about restorative environments and environmental health promotion measures.
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Urbanicity presents a challenge for the pursuit of sustainability. High settlement density may offer some environmental, economic, and social advantages, but it can impose psychological demands that people find excessive. These demands of urban life have stimulated a desire for contact with nature through suburban residence, leading to planning and transportation practices that have profound implications for the pursuit of sustainability. Some might dismiss people's desire for contact with nature as the result of an anti-urban bias in conjunction with a romantic view of nature. However, research in environmental psychology suggests that people's desire for contact with nature serves an important adaptive function, namely, psychological restoration. Based on this insight, we offer a perspective on an underlying practical challenge: designing communities that balance settlement density with satisfactory access to nature experience. We discuss research on four issues: how people tend to believe that nature is restorative; how restoration needs and beliefs shape environmental preferences; how well people actually achieve restoration in urban and natural environments; and how contact with nature can promote health. In closing, we consider urban nature as a design option that promotes urban sustainability.
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We tested the hypothesis that exposure to nature stimuli restores depleted voluntary attention capacity and affects selective attention. Before viewing a video of either a natural or an urban environment, 28 subjects first completed a proofreading task to induce mental load and then performed Posner's attention-orienting task. After viewing the video they performed the attention-orienting task a second time. Cardiac inter-beat interval (IBI) was measured continuously to index autonomic arousal. Before the video both groups reacted faster to validly versus invalidly cued targets in the attention-orienting task. After the video, the urban group was still faster on validly versus invalidly cued trials, but in the nature group this difference disappeared. During the video the nature group had a longer mean IBI (lower heart rate) measured as the difference from baseline than the urban group. The results suggest that reduced autonomic arousal during the video engendered less spatially selective attention in the nature group compared to the urban group.
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This study is based on a theoretical view which suggests that under increased demands for attention, individuals' capacity to direct attention may become fatigued. Once fatigued, attentional restoration must occur in order to return to an effectively functioning state. An attention-restoring experience can be as simple as looking at nature. The purpose of this study was to explore whether university dormitory residents with more natural views from their windows would score better than those with less natural views on tests of directed attention. Views from dormitory windows of 72 undergraduate students were categorized into four groups ranging from all natural to all built. The capacity to direct attention was measured using a battery of objective and subjective measures. Natural views were associated with better performance on attentional measures, providing support for the proposed theoretical view.
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The Leichtag Family Healing Garden at Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego was planned and built as a healing environment space for patients, families, and staff. A Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) was conducted to determine whether the garden was meeting the goals of reducing stress, restoring hope and energy, and increasing consumer satisfaction. Results from behavioral observations, surveys, and interviews indicated a number of benefits of the garden. The garden was perceived as a place of restoration and healing, and use was accompanied by increased consumer satisfaction. However, the garden was not utilized as often or as effectively as intended. Children, parents and many staff members recommended changes for the garden, such as the inclusion of more trees and greenery, and more interactive ‘things for kids to do’. In addition, the majority of family members surveyed throughout the hospital did not know about the garden. Based on the findings, recommendations for changes were developed to promote better use of the garden. These research findings can be used to guide the future planning, design, building, and subsequent evaluation of garden environments in children's hospitals and pediatric settings.
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Does the widely documented tendency to prefer natural over built environments owe to the perception of greater restorative potential in natural environments? In the present experimental study we tested the mediating role of restoration in environmental preferences. Participants viewed a frightening movie, and then were shown a video of either a natural or a built environment. We used two examples of each type of environment. Participants’ mood ratings were assessed before and after they viewed the frightening movie, and again after viewing the environmental video. Participants also rated the beauty of the environment shown (to indicate preference) and performed a test of concentration after viewing the environmental video. The results indicate that participants perceived the natural environments as more beautiful than the built environments. In addition, viewing natural environments elicited greater improvement in mood and marginally better concentration than viewing built environments. Mediational analyses revealed that affective restoration accounted for a substantial proportion of the preference for the natural over the built environments. Together, these results help substantiate the adaptive function of people's environmental preferences.
Article
Two studies were conducted with the aim of developing a set of rating scale measures of restorative components of environments. In Study 1, 238 Norwegian undergraduates acting as subjects imagined themselves to be either in a nature environment or a city environment which they rated on unipolar scales intended to describe how they experienced the environments. In Study 2 another sample of 157 subjects recruited from the same population of Norwegian undergraduates viewed videos of a forest, park, sea area, city, and a snowy mountain, imagining themselves to be in these environments while performing ratings on the same scales. In both studies factor analyses yielded results in agreement with a theory proposed by Kaplan and Kaplan (1989). However, the being away factor posited by the theory was split into two factors, one with high loadings on rating scales tapping being physically away, the other with high loadings on rating scales tapping being psychologically away. The remaining three factors were defined by rating scales tapping extent, fascination, and compatibility, respectively. Composite measures of the factors had acceptable reliability. Furthermore, as predicted, environments with nature elements generally scored higher than city environments on all measures. Compatibility and fascination predicted preference ratings of the environments, whereas escape and compatibility predicted selfratings of relaxation.
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The purpose of this study was to develop and test a self-rating restoration scale (RS) designed to measure the restorative quality of environments. Both the Kaplan and Kaplan [The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective, Cambridge University Press, New York] and Ulrich [Aesthetic and affective response to natural environment, in: I. Altman, J.F. Wohlwill (Eds.), Behavior and Natural Environments, Plenum Press, New York] hypothesize that restorative environments are settings that facilitate the reduction of stress. Over the past decade, an increasing amount of empirical research has also shown that the restorative influences of environments manifest themselves in emotional, physiological, and cognitive responses of humans [J. Environ. Psychol. 11 (1991) 201]. Thus, the RS should cover, at least, these three dimensions. Moreover, the dimension of intended behavior in environments was also included. This RS was examined and revised through a two-phased experimental design. Forty-eight color slides selected from thousands of slides were used as the stimuli and the surrogates for the actual environments in the experiments. These 48 strictly controlled slides represented a proper and comprehensive sample of the six major terrestrial biomes of the world: desert, tundra, grassland, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, and tropical forest [Ecology and Our Endangered Life-Support Systems, Sinauer Associates Publishers, Sunderland], and varied as a function of high and low levels of three physical variables: complexity, openness, and water features. Five experiments with five groups of undergraduate students at Texas A&M University as subjects (total n=505) were conducted to test the RS. Results of exploratory, confirmatory, analysis of moment structures (AMOS), correlation, principal component, and reliability analyses indicated that internal validity, convergent and discriminant validity, convergent and divergent construct validity, and reliability of the RS were all adequate. Thus, the operational definition and the construct of restorativeness developed in this study can be applied to future research on recovery from stress. Hopefully, this theory-derived and data-oriented RS will be eventually applied to various environments by any concerned individuals to examine the result of planning and design practice in terms of a desired state of recovery from stress.
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This paper examines the factors which have contributed to Lourdes' attraction for millions as a place of healing: the religious pilgrimage tradition; Lourdes' central role in political, economic, social, and cultural changes in France; belief in miraculous cures reported at Lourdes; and the pilgrim experience. Themes emphasized throughout the paper are physical, mental, and spiritual transformation; historical contingency; the role of faith; place meaning; and a contested reality. Copyright (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd