Seminario "The science of restorative experience: understanding a general pathway for health benefits of natural environments"

a cura di Terry Hartig, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor of Environmental Psychology

The science of restorative experience: Understanding a general pathway for health benefits of natural environments How can green infrastructure enable healthy and active lives? This question directs attention to the possible pathways through which features of urban nature can come to be beneficial. Scientists have to date mainly focused on particular pathways in line with disciplinary conventions. For example, environmental epidemiologists have focused on how urban greenery might mitigate exposures to noise and air pollution, and health promotion specialists have focused on how nearby parks and green spaces might attract residents to engage in physical activity. Yet researchers increasingly appreciate that multiple processes are likely to work simultaneously; they are intertwined, and work together in ways as yet little studied. In this presentation, I will discuss psychological restoration as a pathway through which diverse types of urban nature - encountered when in parks, walking along streets, looking out from a window or visiting a private garden – can work as a general pathway, relevant for diverse mental and physical health outcomes in which stress has been implicated as a causal factor. Reflecting my background in environmental psychology, I will first discuss the restoration pathway of itself, with a view to the different processes it encompasses, notably attention restoration and psychophysiological stress reduction, and to the common components of environmental experiences in which those processes can operate. I will then discuss how restorative experience may relate to other pathways between urban nature and health, including mitigation of exposures to noise and air pollution and the promotion of physical activity. The discussion will indicate potential problems with a focus on individual pathways in the effort to understand how health benefits of green infrastructure arise, but on a positive note it will also show how health can be influenced by multiple processes that are sensitive to a diverse green infrastructure measures.

Aula Ponzo III piano Dipartimento di Psicologia dei Processi di Sviluppo e Socializzazione Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia Via dei Marsi 78 Roma