Green combats the blues

A Netherlands study provides further statistical evidence of the positive health impacts of living near green space. Bloomberg reports here.

A welcome addition to the growing library of work detailing the direct, inherent reliance of our species on natural systems. It seems every time we study some aspect of our our health, from sleeping with the lights on to the view from your hospital bed, we discover another obvious connection between us and living systems.

The unfortunate aspect of these studies is our inability as a society to extract a big lesson from the myriad small examples.  For each study we add another technical component to the matrix of decisions we make on a building or planning project.  We add a window on a garden to a hospital room, or a park to an under-served neighborhood.  Each of these are important.  But the system by which we build a whole from increasing numbers of small components has the effect of further complicating an already complex process, and increasing the chances that something important will be left out.  Hopefully as the evidence of our biophilic dependence becomes overwhelming we will consider increasing our connection to natural systems as a guiding principle, and the vast majority of those technical components will fall into place as a result.

About the authors

Yetsuh Frank
Yetsuh is Director of the New York City office of YR&G. An architect, educator and writer, he has more than 15 years experience spearheading sustainability throughout the building industry.  Yetsuh was Director of Programs at Urban Green Council from 2008 to 2011.