UBC Undergraduate Research

That’s my type! : Exploring student well-being and planting strategies at UBC Chan, Caitlyn; Partridge, Will; Sawada, Anna; Sun, Doris; Teo, Jeff; Yamada, Taishi


This study attempted to investigate how different planting strategies (dense versus sparse, trees versus shrubs) affected student preferences, moods, and stress levels towards green spaces on UBC Campus. To test this, participants were randomly assigned to view a green space, and answered questions relating to preferences, positive and negative affect, and perceived stress levels. Our survey was distributed online and in-person to random UBC students, and we obtained 212 usable responses. We found that participants preferred trees over shrubs, and favoured higher plant densities. We also found a significant difference in preference scores between participants who viewed dense and sparse trees, but not between participants who viewed dense and sparse shrubs. Unexpectedly, we also found that shrubs evoked more positive affect among participants compared to trees. These findings point towards the influence of functionality in determining preferences, and highlights the possible distinction between implicit and explicit expressions, as well as the independent nature of preferences and emotions. We hope that these findings will contribute toward suggesting novel methods of conducting future research for SEEDS, and support UBC to better understand the value of green spaces amongst students, and consider mixed planting strategies for future development of campus green spaces. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International