Community / Documentary / Street Photographer

Go greener, feel better?

The positive effects of biodiversity on the well-being of individuals visiting urban and peri-urban green areas

Back in April I photographed this old hunting lodge that has been abandoned for many years. It is on the corner of a junction along the A46 not far from where I live. I took the photographs on a Fuji X-Pro1 and an old Zuiko Olympus 28 mm lens I have from the 1970s. I shot totally in manual an looked at the light and the experience made me feel very relaxed. I blogged about the experience on the RPS East Midlands Regional zone and the RPS put the post on the front page of the main website, there is a lot of engagement with wellbeing and mindfulness at the moment, and I think that is why they liked the post. Click here to read it.

The title of the post you are reading here was copied from a paper of the same name that was published in the Landscape and Urban Planning Journal, Volume 134, February 2015. The authors wrote about how “the literature on human experience in green environments had widely showed the positive outcomes of getting in contact with nature. This study addresses the issue of whether urban residents’ evaluations of urban and peri-urban natural settings and the positive outcomes deriving from contact with such settings vary as a function of their biodiversity”. They listed the following as the highlights of their study:

  • We assess benefits and well-being deriving from visiting urban and peri-urban green areas.

  • We examine how biodiversity of urban and peri-urban green areas affects well-being.

  • Biodiversity positively affects well-being, especially for urban green areas.

  • Length of visit to green areas and biodiversity predict well-being through the mediation of perceived restorativeness.

  • Urban green spaces rich in biodiversity can enhance well-being and promote sustainable lifestyles.

Over the next few visits to the Waterhills I plan to consider these highlights and work out the potential of my own project. I also plan to create a resource section on this website to include past studies such as the one I am referring to in this post.