Contributions of natural elements and areas in residential environments to human health and well-being


  • S. De Vries


This paper gives a brief overview of the research literature on the effects of nature and green space on human health and well-being, with special attention to green areas in residential environments. A preliminary descriptive framework is presented and used to delineate the focus of the paper. The review of the studies is organized by the mechanisms that are supposed to explain the positive effect of nature on health. Seven of such mechanisms are distinguished. Although the evidence is mounting, the main conclusion is that the research on nature and human health is still in its early stages. The results thus far do not offer much support for evidence-based policy making nor can they be translated into practical guidelines yet