Category Background

Designing and delivering effective urban green space interventions

There is a substantial evidence base to support using nature to enhance wellbeing, particularly within urban settings. However, when it comes to translating this evidence into on-ground action and using nature or green space within our cities as a public health intervention, it can raise a lot of questions. For example, what type of green space […]

Using social media data to track health and wellbeing impacts of pollen and air pollution

We have started work on a new ESRC funded project which will develop and evaluate prototype “social sensing” tools that use social media data to monitor environmental triggers (pollen and air pollution) for asthma and hayfever. We aim to help build the evidence base for the feasibility of the use of social sensing in an […]

World Health Organisation Urban Green Spaces and Health report

Ben Wheeler has worked with Mike Depledge and colleagues from around Europe to co-author an important new report, for World Health Organisation (Europe), on the beneficial effects of urban green space for health. The report can be downloaded here. The comprehensive report summarises the existing evidence of linkages (both positive and negative) between urban green […]

International Day for Biological Diversity 2016

Sunday the 22nd of May is International Day for Biological Diversity 2016, this year’s theme is ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods’. The United Nations and Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) state: Biodiversity is the foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems. It therefore underpins peoples’ livelihoods and sustainable development in […]

Going greener: does the natural environment really help health and wellbeing?

Ben Wheeler contributed an article to the latest edition of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s magazine ‘Frontline’. In the article Ben considers the evidence for how natural environments relate to health outcomes. It has long been thought that interacting with natural environments can benefit health and wellbeing. For example, the restorative potential of urban parks […]

Arguing for the value(s) of natural environments to health

Yesterday I was in Northampton to present at the Greener Northants LNP annual conference. I discussed our research, and that of others such as CRESH, and tried to argue that the environment (alongside many other features of our societies and communities) should be recognised (and valued) for it’s role in promoting, supporting or damaging our […]

How do we conceptualise people’s exposures to natural environments?

Some of the team have just returned from this year’s excellent International Medical Geography Symposium , and it was a good opportunity to think about this project’s geographical approach to estimating people’s ‘exposure’ to natural environments. In trying to figure out relationships between natural environments and health and wellbeing,we’re taking a pretty typical epidemiological approach […]