From the time he wrote ‘Walden – Life in the Woods’ philosopher Henry David Thoreau understood the restorative value of trees to the human soul. More than 100 years later researchers are discovering that a pleasurable walk among trees and green space can calm an active child, refresh a tired mind, and make all of us feel better. The view of a tree outside a window can make an office worker more productive, a hospital stay shorter, or a prison sentence more bearable. Even in the most deprived inner city, trees and green space around buildings reduce crime and violence as well as promote a sense of community and well-being. In our series, Tales from Urban Forests, Jean Snedegar explores the power of trees to restore us, body and mind.
|The Urban Forest Healing Center
The Urban Forest Healing Center was produced by Jean Snedegar. The show was mixed by Jared Weissbrot. It originally aired as part of our series Tales From Urban Forests, produced with support from the USDA Forest Service.
This urban park encompasses nearly 25 acres in Chicago’s downtown and offers formal gardens, cafes, an outdoor concert pavilion, fountains and sculptures.
Chicago City Hall Green Roof
Photos and detailed information about the construction of green roofs.
Human Environment Research Laboratory
A multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to studying
the relationships between people and the environments they inhabit.
Landscaped Roofs Have Chicago Mayor Seeing Green
This article profiles the green roof atop City Hall in Chicago.
Tales from Urban Forests
Listen to more of this special radio series to learn about how trees are impacting a city near you.
The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective
by: Rachael Kaplan, Stephen Kaplan 1990
With People in Mind: Design and Management for Everyday Nature
by: Rachel Kaplan, Stephen Kaplan 1998
This book explores how to design and manage areas of "everyday nature"-parks and open spaces, corporate grounds, vacant lots and backyard gardens, fields and forests-in ways that are beneficial to and appreciated by humans. Rachel Kaplan and Stephen Kaplan, leading researchers in the field of environmental psychology, along with Robert Ryan, a landscape architect and urban planner, provide a conceptual framework for considering the human dimensions of natural areas.