Existing evidence on the beneficial effects of nature on mental health comes from studies using cross-sectional designs. We developed a smartphone-based tool (Urban Mind; www.urbanmind.info) to examine how exposure to natural features within the built environment affects mental well-being in real time. The tool was used to monitor 108 individuals who completed 3013 assessments over a 1-week period. Significant immediate and lagged associations with mental well-being were found for several natural features. These associations were stronger in people with higher trait impulsivity, a psychological measure of one's tendency to behave with little forethought or consideration of the consequences, which is indicative of a higher risk of developing mental-health issues. Our investigation suggests that the benefits of nature on mental well-being are time-lasting and interact with an individual's vulnerability to mental illness. These findings have potential implications from the perspectives of global mental health as well as urban planning and design.
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Australians have world leading levels of urban resource consumption and carbon emissions – an unsustainable position in the 21 st century. Survey research at the Centre for Urban Transitions reveals that the known determinants of our large urban ecological footprints are...Read more
The City of Greater Geelong has been exploring walkability in an attempt to better cater for the walking dependant population, improve rates of walking in the overall population, and achieve better population health. At the same time we have sought to achieve better overall environmental performance while minimizing the cost to financial and health environment and community.
In 1998, the Western Australian Government introduced the Liveable Neighbourhoods Design Code; a policy aimed at using design principles to increase the walking, cycling, public transport use and sense of community of residents of new housing developments.
A small environmental organization has taken on Germany’s powerful auto industry in court and has begun winning limited bans on heavily polluting diesel vehicles. Some analysts say this may be the beginning of the end for diesel automobiles in Germany and the European Union.