Urban natural spaces and public health: a matter of challenges or common sense?
Over the last decade, research on human health impacts of urban natural spaces has rapidly developed. An increasing number of epidemiological studies demonstrates direct and indirect health benefits by exposure to urban green and blue spaces. While these studies have significantly contributed to confirming associations between nature exposure and various health outcomes, a number of challenges remain before evidence on mechanisms and causality can be established. These challenges range from uncertainty about optimal exposure measures to what physiological effects can be expected from nature contact. Nevertheless, the side effects of “urban green interventions” occur limited. By taking also co-benefits, such as increased biodiversity and climate change mitigation from urban natural spaces, into account there seems to be little to lose from a policy perspective by advocating for more natural spaces in our cities, although the evidence is still insufficient. This presentation will provide an outline of the current evidence level and present research challenges in on-going studies around urban nature and human health. It will also discuss the prevailing discourse around pathways and mechanisms. Finally, the goal is to initiate a debate around opportunities and risks with taking a “nothing-to-lose” approach to urban green initiatives across the world.
|Event Date||Mar 20, 2020 20:00|
|Posted by NCCEH||Mar 17, 2020|