The mission of the Urban Environments & Human Health Lab (UEHH Lab) is to understand how and to what extent urban environments, especially urban green spaces, influence human health and wellbeing.  Researchers in the lab are concerned with understanding and measuring the influence through multiple approaches including psychological, physiological, and hormonal measures of human health.

The lab uses two types of experimental sites for research: Virtual urban environments and real urban environments. Researchers will use the immersive virtual environments as surrogates of real urban environments. In a controlled lab setting, researchers will expose participants to a variety of stimuli while recording participants’ responses through a variety of physiological devices or psychological instruments. Researchers then can gauge and compare the impacts of different environmental features or conditions. Researchers will also conduct experimental research in real urban environments by using mobile devices or instruments. The research will contribute to the body of knowledge on how to create appropriate urban environments to promote human health and wellbeing.

Key Questions

The UEHH lab and partners focus on the exploration of the following four key questions:

  • How, and to what extent, do characteristics of the urban environment influence human health and wellbeing through psychological, physiological, or other pathways?
  • How can virtual reality technology be used as a powerful tool to study the relationship between the urban environment and human psychology and behavior?
  • How can scientific evidence found in the lab be used to direct or support urban and landscape design practice?
  • How can the research outputs help to address some of the serious environmental and human health issues in territories undergoing rapid urbanization?