Urban Nature & Mental Health


Research Direction 1

Dose of Nature and Mental Restoration

Mental health is a severe global problem. While many studies suggest the exposure to green landscapes might be a possible solutions, the essential question is dose. That is, what dose of treatment is optimal? What are the shapes of the curves of the relationships between a stimulus and a mental health outcome? Without this knowledge, we cannot effectively incorporate green landscapes as an effort to create environments that are conducive to good mental health. We aim to conducted a series of studies to understand the dose-response curves of the relationships between green landscapes and mental health.

2022-04-03 171255

Research Direction 2

Dose of Nature and Landscape Preference

Landscape preference is a reliable predictor of how well people will function in an environment. Research on preference for trees can shape design guidelines in ways that reflect the will of the people. Thus, understanding the public’s preferences is necessary for understanding the unconscious preferences of designers. Does adding more and more trees to a residential street yield a reliable increase in preference? Or is there a point at which, in terms of preference, additional trees will have minimal effect, no effect, or even a negative effect?


Research Direction 3

Urban Nature and Neurological Health

The purpose of this research is to establish a relationship between the urban environment and neurosciences. Viewing green urban landscapes that vary in terms of green-space density elicits corresponding changes in the activity of the human ventral posterior cingulate cortex, which is correlated to behavioral stress-related responses. The set of studies will highlight the therapeutic potential of natural environmental exposure, with implications for both practitioners and city planners.

Research Direction 4

Acoustic-visual Environments and Mental Health

The interactive impact of acoustic-visual environments on mental health is an emerging area of research and only a few studies have been published that examined these interactions with respect to mental health benefits. This knowledge is especially and largely unknown in the context of high-density cities. The juxtaposition of a great variety of acoustic and visual stimuli in cities is becoming a common, or even dominating phenomenon due to high residential density and a diversity of land uses and associated human activities. Therefore, we ask whether and how various combinations of acoustic and visual environments in high-density cities independently and interactively impact multidimensional mood states in people.

Research Direction 5

High-density Urban Environments and Perceived Oppressiveness and Mental Health

High-density city has become a major type of human habitat globally, due to intense urbanization in the last decade. In those cities, perceived oppressiveness has been recognized as a dominating environmental perception. However, little studies have focused on perceived oppressiveness. Further, Stress Reduction Theory is a leading theory that explains the relationship between environmental exposure and mental stress. However, the theory missed considering the role of perceived oppressiveness in the context of high-density city. Understanding the role of oppressiveness within the framework of Stress Response Theory (SRT) is crucial for comprehending the complex interplay between high-density urban environments and individuals’ mental well-being.