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Urban EcologyPatterns, Processes, and Applications$
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Jari Niemelä, Jürgen H. Breuste, Thomas Elmqvist, Glenn Guntenspergen, Philip James, and Nancy E. McIntyre

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563562.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

Urban Ecology and Human Health

Urban Ecology and Human Health

(p.263) Chapter 5.2 Urban Ecology and Human Health
Urban Ecology

Konstantinos Tzoulas

Kim Greening

Oxford University Press

Contact with nature is a determinant of health. In order to promote the health benefits of contact with nature in cities the design, management, and maintenance of urban green space require integration of ecological, public health, and planning knowledge. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the role that urban ecological knowledge can play in health promotion and disease prevention. This is achieved through a critical review of the literature and of public health activities from a range of countries. The first part of the chapter focuses on physical health and addresses the contributions of urban green space, through opportunities for physical activity, to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and type II diabetes. The effects of urban green space on the mental health and wellbeing of people may have a role to play in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Thus the psychological health effects of contact with nature are outlined in the second part of the chapter. The third part is concerned with the contributions of urban green space to the social determinants of health such as community wellbeing, social inclusion, and quality of life. This chapter highlights that urban ecological knowledge can play a principal role in improving the physical, biological, and social urban environments. Furthermore, it establishes how ecological knowledge can be integrated in the planning, design, and management of cities and of healthcare facilities and initiatives.

Keywords:   contact with nature, physical activity, physical health, psychological health, public health, urban green space, ecological knowledge, planning

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