UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Contribution to Stress Recovery and Attention Restoration Potential of Exposure to Urban Green Spaces in Low-Density Residential Areas Huang, Shuping; Qi, Jinda; Li, Wei; Dong, Jianwen; Van den Bosch, Cecil C. Konijnendijk


This study assessed the contributions of urban green spaces on mental health with joint consideration of people’s physiological and psychological responses. The psychological and physiological responses of participants aged between 22 and 28, who visited green spaces in a low-density area of Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, were measured using Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS) methods and biometric wearable sensing devices, respectively. Results showed that exposure to green space led to significant changes in PRS, electrodermal activity (EDA), facial electromyography (EMG), respiration sensor (RESP), and photoplethysmography (PPG), while there is no significant impact on skin temperature (SKT). Additionally, psychological and physiological responses were highly consistent and correlated (R < 0.8). The results also indicated that green spaces with high plant species richness, a water landscape, bumpy ground, cultural landscape, and without roadways presented a high performance on stress recovery and attention restoration. At the same time, the influence of openness was negligible in the low-density area. The study provides planners and landscape designers with specific guidance for implementing urban green spaces to improve mental health in low-density residential areas.

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