Existing studies revealed that exposure to green spaces within healthcare establishments has multiple physical and mental health benefits to patients. In this context, the concept of biophilic design has received growing attention among environmental psychology researchers. Several studies indicated that the positive effect of green environment may be different for males and females.
Urgent biophilia describes the conscious desire of humans to seek interactions with nature during periods of stress. This study examines the changes in frequency and reason for visiting urban green spaces by residents of Wellington, New Zealand, to determine whether resident behavior during a stressful period exemplifies the principles of urgent biophilia. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns were used as the study period due to the significant physical and mental health stressors they triggered.
It seems as if modern urban lifestyle disconnects people from nature, this may be associated with adverse health effects. In line with this notion it has been consistently shown that psychiatric diagnoses are more frequent in urban compared to rural regions. Most of the studies addressing potential causal mechanisms of this urban-rural difference focus on detrimental aspects of city living.
The purpose of this chapter is to highlight literature related to the benefits of spending time in nature and the usefulness of biophilic design to boost mental health. Biophilic design can increase feelings of well-being of workers or inhabitants, increase connection to purpose and meaning-making, and inspire creativity.
How Do Humans Value Urban Nature? Developing The Perceived Biophilic Design Scale (PBDs) For Preference And Emotion
With the growth of urbanization and the increasingly hectic pace of life, exposure to urban nature within blue-green infrastructure is greatly impacting human health and well-being. Biophilia, an evolutional concept, conveys the initial connection between humans and nature; biophilic design transfers into design attributes to indicate the relationship between humans and the environment.