News & Events

The Natural Environments Initiative: Illustrative Review and Workshop Statement

30 November 2016

Below is the abstract from a report into the impact of the urbanisation of our populations by the Harvard School of Public Health.  Great read for those wanting to increase the learning capacity and health of students.  Enjoy.

ForestLearning Team


This paper summarizes the discussions from the Natural Environments Initiative meeting hosted by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Radcli e Institute for Advanced Study in October 2013. It presents ongoing worldwide research on health bene ts stemming from exposure to natural environments and design cues with particular attention applications in urban environments. This meeting generated a Workshop statement forged by the participants that a rms the health bene ts of nature and presents the need for additional collaborative, transdisciplinary to re ne salutogenic planning and design practices.

Workshop participants represented disciplinary and professional perspectives from medicine, landscape architecture, public heath, and forestry science rooted in the cultural, ecological and political realities of a dozen countries and ve continents. When framing the bene ts of nature, they considered health outcomes including mental health disorders, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, allergies, cardiovascular disease, and more. Many environmental factors (including those related to physical activity, residential planning, environmental contamination and severe weather attributed to climate change) mediate these health outcomes at local, regional and global levels. This paper provides an illustrative review that captures many relevant studies discussed during the workshop. Although not exhaustive, our review indicates that the available evidence is applicable to various populations and ecological settings, and broadly supports the association of improved health outcomes with exposure to natural environments. 

To read the full report click here 



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