|Wednesday Whatís New: Green Spaces Essential for Human Health|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 18 May 2011|
As a subscriber to The Daily Dirt you probably already know about the power of green spaces of your mind and body, but there hasnít been any sort of real scientific assessment of that--until now.
Frances "Ming" Kuo, Director of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois has studied the effect of green space on humans in a number of settings and measured the effect of nature on human health and well being by using data such as police crime reports, blood pressure, performance on standardized neurocognitive tests, and physiological measures of immune system functioning.
What she discovered was what most of us probably already know. "In greener settings, we find that people are more generous and more sociable. We find stronger neighborhood social ties and greater sense of community, more mutual trust and willingness to help others. "In less green environments, we find higher rates of aggression, violence, violent crime, and property crime -- even after controlling for income and other differences," she said. "We also find more evidence of loneliness and more individuals reporting inadequate social support."
Because of this strong correlation between nature and health, Kuo encourages city planners to design communities with more public green spaces in mind, not as mere amenities to beautify a neighborhood, but as a vital component that will promote healthier, kinder, smarter, more effective, more resilient people.
Excerpted from: Green Environments Essential for Human Health
Photo source: Flickr.com