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Biodiversity & human health: What role for nature in healthy urban planning?

Brown, Caroline; Grant, Marcus

Authors

Caroline Brown

Marcus Grant marcus.grant@uwe.ac.uk



Abstract

Biodiversity & human health: What role for nature in healthy urban planning?It is well known that nature is good for human health and well-being. However, there is little understanding or articulation of this link among built environment professionals. The purpose of the paper is to explore the literature for evidence of the health benefits of urban nature and biodiversity. The key question is whether there is an added health value to urban biodiversity policies. If there is, then what can planners and other built environment professionals learn about the role of nature in healthy urban planning?

The paper has three parts: the first discusses health and its determinants before examining policy on health and biodiversity in the urban setting. The second part of the paper looks at the literature on nature and health. Attention is given here to the ecological services provided by nature as well as the benefits that derive from human interaction with nature. The final section of the paper sets out some initial thoughts about the implications of the paper’s findings for urban planners and built environment professionals.

The paper demonstrates that there are clear, documented, links between human health and nature, particularly in the urban setting. Together the results suggest that planners and built environment professionals could have a profound impact on community well-being by promoting urban nature and urban biodiversity in all new development.

Citation

Brown, C., & Grant, M. (2005). Biodiversity & human health: What role for nature in healthy urban planning?. Built Environment, 31(4), 326-338

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal Built Environment
Print ISSN 0263-7960
Publisher Alexandrine Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 4
Pages 326-338
Keywords nature, biodiversity, public health, urban nature
Publisher URL http://www.alexandrinepress.co.uk/be_previous_issues.php
Additional Information Additional Information : The final version of this paper is published as Brown, Caroline and Grant, Marcus (2005) Biodiversity & human health: What role for nature in healthy urban planning? Built Environment, 31 (4). pp. 326-338. © Alexandrine Press. This research led to the authors being invited as guest editors for a special health edition of Town and Country Planning, Feb 2007, Vol 76, No.2

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