Nature in its unkempt state!
The remedy to an urban population’s mental health is a bit of a paradox: It’s nature in its unkempt state. Research tells us that these looser pockets of green increase calm and concentration. But how do we incorporate these elements into routinely primped and pruned green spaces?
Research shows that city dwellers have a 20 percent higher chance of suffering anxiety and an almost 40 percent greater likelihood of developing depression – with one in five Australians suffering from a mental health issue annually. Promisingly, however, research has also found that people in urban areas who live closest to the greatest ‘green space’ are significantly less likely to suffer poor mental health.
Urban designers thus have a significant role to play in lowering these rates of mental illness, and the data on how nature affects our brains are central to changing the ways we design. As depression is the world’s biggest cause of disability, we cannot afford to ignore the impact of public environments on mental health.
“Nature’s messy glory has the most impact on restoring a stressed mind” – Zoe Myers
To learn more about the benefits and green spaces and the importance of their ‘messy design’ visit: www.foreground.com.au/environment/linger-longer-its-better-for-your-mental-health/