Skip to content
CityLab
Environment

The (Pretty Much Totally) Complete Health Case for Urban Nature

An annotated, chart-filled look at the scientific evidence.
relates to The (Pretty Much Totally) Complete Health Case for Urban Nature
m01229 / Flickr

I’m not a doctor, but I do sit near one in The Atlantic’s New York office. So you can trust me to know that MD-in-residence James Hamblin is on to something when he writes in the magazine’s October issue about the rising appreciation among physicians for the health benefits of parks and green space. Hamblin writes of “a small but growing group of health-care professionals who are essentially medicalizing nature”:

Seems the medical community has finally caught up with insights made by the urban landscape community 150 years ago. In 1865, Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park design fame called it “a scientific fact” that natural “is favorable to the health and vigor of men.” (And women!) Olmsted jumped the gun on the whole “fact” thing, but time and a whole bunch of modern behavioral research on the nature-health link has proved him wise.