In this chapter we have highlighted how theories and empirical studies from different disciplines in the last three decades have converged in suggesting that human beings can significantly benefit from staying in touch with natural elements in their daily lives in terms of general psychological wellbeing, quality of life and mental and physical health. Outcomes such as stress reduction, improved cognitive executive functioning, reduced risk of mood disorders and anxiety, reduced mortality, reduced risk of a wide range of morbidities (e.g., cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, and musculoskeletal complaints) and improved pregnancy outcomes (e.g., higher birth weight, larger head circumference, lower risk of preterm birth) have all been associated with various indicators of contact with natural settings in daily life experiences. However, findings of this kind are not always consistent and warrant further investigation. In addition to health and wellbeing outcomes, more recent research has also suggested an association between contact with urban nature and various environmental, social and societal outcomes. Many factors can be identified as potential mechanisms acting together with positive health outcomes in making the presence of GI a major source of urban quality of life. Among the factors worth mentioning is the role of urban forests and green infrastructure in mitigating the urban heat island effect, reducing traffic-related air pollution and noise, strengthening social cohesion, favouring social behaviour and altruism, and helping to create more socially inclusive communities in today’s multicultural society. Despite the consistent body of literature addressing the outcomes of people-nature relationships in present-day societies, more studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms involved in the positive association between contact with nature andhuman health and wellbeing, to establish the mechanisms underlying such an association, and to corroborate more recent findings that also highlight the social and societal benefits of green infrastructures. Finally, a topic that certainly deserves more investigation is the potential contribution of GI in reducing our carbon footprint by helping the transition toward sustainable lifestyle changes among individuals, groups and communities in society.

The role and value of urban forests and green infrastructure in promoting human health and wellbeing

SANESI, Giovanni
2017

Abstract

In this chapter we have highlighted how theories and empirical studies from different disciplines in the last three decades have converged in suggesting that human beings can significantly benefit from staying in touch with natural elements in their daily lives in terms of general psychological wellbeing, quality of life and mental and physical health. Outcomes such as stress reduction, improved cognitive executive functioning, reduced risk of mood disorders and anxiety, reduced mortality, reduced risk of a wide range of morbidities (e.g., cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity, and musculoskeletal complaints) and improved pregnancy outcomes (e.g., higher birth weight, larger head circumference, lower risk of preterm birth) have all been associated with various indicators of contact with natural settings in daily life experiences. However, findings of this kind are not always consistent and warrant further investigation. In addition to health and wellbeing outcomes, more recent research has also suggested an association between contact with urban nature and various environmental, social and societal outcomes. Many factors can be identified as potential mechanisms acting together with positive health outcomes in making the presence of GI a major source of urban quality of life. Among the factors worth mentioning is the role of urban forests and green infrastructure in mitigating the urban heat island effect, reducing traffic-related air pollution and noise, strengthening social cohesion, favouring social behaviour and altruism, and helping to create more socially inclusive communities in today’s multicultural society. Despite the consistent body of literature addressing the outcomes of people-nature relationships in present-day societies, more studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms involved in the positive association between contact with nature andhuman health and wellbeing, to establish the mechanisms underlying such an association, and to corroborate more recent findings that also highlight the social and societal benefits of green infrastructures. Finally, a topic that certainly deserves more investigation is the potential contribution of GI in reducing our carbon footprint by helping the transition toward sustainable lifestyle changes among individuals, groups and communities in society.
978-3-319-50279-3
978-3-319-50280-9
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
The Role and Value of Urban Forests and Green Infrastructure in Promoting.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 1.14 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.14 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/186650
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact