RE: MSc Research Dissertation on the Potential Health Benefits of Parks and Public Open Spaces
I'd contact the Trust for Public Land office near you with a request for
information and research , which I'd put on your school's letterhead:
Here's the TPL link:
Here's some sources for starters:
This was drawn from the Urban Parks Online Bibliography page:
You may want to read the whole root page as well:
Physical, Mental, and Ecological Benefits
of Natural Environment
* "Affective Responses to Natural Areas Near Cities."
Thomas A. More and Brian R. Payne. Journal of
Leisure Research 10 (1978): 7-12. Study showing
how parks help reduce negative feelings in visitors.
* "Aging: It Is Our Business!" Jacquelyn Larson Kelley.
Parks & Recreation v. 28 March 1993: 36. The need
of recreation to the health of our aging population.
economic benefits of having a healthy population.
* "The Benefits of Local Recreation & Park
Services: A Nationwide Study of the Perceptions
of the American Public." Geoffrey Godbey, Alan
Graefe, Stephen W. James. Arlington: National
Recreation & Park Association with Penn State
University, Leisure Studies Program, 1992. 137 pages.
A nation wide survey of park users conducted by
NRPA. Covers types of use and users, benefits of local
parks, demographics and other statistics. Lots of tables.
Bibliography. $45/$31.50 for NRPA members, NRPA
Bookstore; 2775 South Quincy Street Ste 300;
Arlington, VA 22206.
* The Benefits of Nearby Nature for Elderly
Apartment Residents. J.F. Talbot and R. Kaplan.
Project Report, USDA Forest Service, North Central
Forest Experiment Station, Urban Forestry Unit
Cooperative Agreement 23-87-03: 1990. A report that
demonstrates that the mere knowledge that a park is
nearby improves the quality of life for many.
* "Caring for Rivers, Streams, and Wetlands."
Greenways, A Guide to Planning, Design, and
Development. Chas. Flink and Robert Searns.
Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1993: 139-150.
Environmental justification for protecting waterways and
floodplains. Available through Island Press:
(800)828-1302. $45 hardcover, $32.50 paperback.
* The Experience of Nature: A Psychological
Perspective. Rachel & Stephen Kaplan. Cambridge
University Press 1989. 336 pages. $54.95 hardcover,
$18.95 paperback. A sourcebook of research and
studies showing the relationship between health and the
physical environment. Also very readable. Tel:
* The Healing Dimensions of People-Plant
Relations. Mark Francis, P. Lindsay, J. Stone Rice.
Davis, CA: Center for Design Research, University of
California 1994. Tel: (916)752-6031.
* "The Latest Research." Landscape Architecture
January 1995. An overview of the research examining
the effect of environment on health and well-being. Also
includes a brief bibliography.
* "Natural Versus Urban Scenes: Some
Psychophysiological Effects." Roger S. Ulrich.
* Environment and Behavior 13 (1981): 523-555.
Experiment shows that visual contact with nature
reduces stress and promotes other physical
improvements. Urban scenes arouse anxiety and inhibit
* "The Nature of Health." Erica Goode. Mirabella 72
* "Plants Found to Help Counteract Fuel Use." New
York Times, 27 August 1995. Contrary to earlier
beliefs, plants are found to absorb about half the carbon
dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels.
* "Psychological and Recreational Benefits of a
Residential Park." Roger S. Ulrich and David L.
Addoms. Journal of Leisure Research 13 (1981):
43-65. This study shows that the mere awareness of the
presence of a park has significant psychological
* The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being
and Social Development. Diane Relf, editor. Portland:
Timber Press, 1992. 254 pages. Available from PPC
(see orgs); $54.
* To Dwell is to Garden. Sam Bass Warner. Boston:
Northeastern University Press, 1987. A book about
community greening and the positive effects gardens
have on people and communities.
* "View Through a Window May Influence Recovery
from Surgery." Roger S. Ulrich. Science 224 (1984):
420-421. Hospital patients given rooms with a garden
view recover faster.
* Healing Environments: A Collection of Case
Studies. Center for Design Research for the University
of California Davis Medical Center, June 1995
(DRAFT). Examples of environments with healing
2) This Columbia, Missouri page on the benefits of open spaces and parks may
yield some usable material for you:
3) This quote from a 1997 San Diego Sun Times article may be useful to you.
First the link for the whole article:
Public mental and physical health
Studies conducted in Norway and Sweden showed that, on average, the
population in cities with numerous
large greenway and waterway parks dispersed within the city limits had fewer
physical and mental health
problems than populations where the parks were located on the outside
periphery of the city. This was true
even when the parks could be reached easily using public or private
transportation. Visual access as well as
physical proximity are both factors which contribute to the feeling of
well-being and to frequent use.
This view is supported by the California Parks and Recreation study of
recreation preferences of California
residents. The study revealed that people support and give higher priority
to parks supporting passive
recreation than they do to sports complex parks. This is a direct
contradiction to policies of many of our
local city councils which have advocated and developed major sports oriented
complexes within residential
communities, to the exclusion of more passive, unstructured, recreational
A few park benches adjacent to a playground or a ball field do not provide
sufficient passive recreation for
the local community. From a cost standpoint, active sports complexes cost
far more to build and operate
than passive greenways, trails and waterways. It appears that sports
activists are more vocal and demanding
of city officials than the majority of the population.
4) This link from the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association takes a long
time to load, but may contains some of the material you need:
5) This Arizona State University Research on Open Space Benefits may be
helpful to you:
6 US Center for Disease Control:
A CDC paper available on the site.
(1994). An American Network of Parks and Open Space:
Creating a Conservation and Recreation Legacy, Texas
Parks and Wildlife and the National Park Service.
Health-Based Benefits of Parks, Trails, and Open
7) It is essential to your continued mental, moral, physical and karmic
health to join the American Community Gardening Association ("ACGA".)
Sending the ACGA your annual $25 dollar fee helps to support scholarship,
nationwide community gardening and community garden advocacy programs and
sets a wonderful example to others in your community of scholars.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eddie Peters [SMTP:Eddie.Peters@btinternet.com]
> Sent: Friday, February 23, 2001 5:15 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [cg] MSc Research Dissertation on the Potential Health
> Benefits of Parks and Public Open Spaces
> Can anyone help provide information, references and/or leads to
> current/past research on the above subject?
> Thank you, Eddie Peters
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