Reference : The restorative value of the urban environment: A systematic review of the literature.
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
The restorative value of the urban environment: A systematic review of the literature.
Weber, Anke Maria mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
Trojan, Jörg []
Environmental Health Insights
[en] Restoration ; urban environments ; urban nature
[en] Background: Stress poses a major issue in our modern society, making restoration an important research focus. Restoration likelihood has mostly been observed in nature, which was compared with urban environments that have little restorative potential, eg, industrial areas. However, many people reside in and need to find restoration in cities. The main aim of this review is to summarize research that has focused on investigating restoration possibilities in urban environments and the environmental elements interacting with the restoration likelihood of an urban environment.
Method: This review focuses on studies addressing the topic of restoration possibilities in urban settings in built and human-made natural urban environments. The studies were searched via Google Scholar, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, and PSYNDEX. All studies concerned with restoration in urban environments were included. However, studies concerned with nonoriginal data, solely investigating effects of natural environments or treating urban environments as a control for restoration in nature, were excluded from the review. Overall, 39 studies corresponded to the criteria and were included.
Results: Natural elements in urban environments have a restorative potential and can increase the restorativeness of urban settings. Furthermore, built urban environments vary in their restorative potential, but promising results have been uncovered as well. Architectural elements, cultural, and leisure areas had a restorative value, whereas the findings on streets and residential areas differ. In sum, many urban locations can have restorative effects, but these effects may be influenced by factors such as cultural background, age, social components, and individual dispositions.
Discussion: Certain urban environments hold a restorative potential. However, the literature on restoration in urban environments is still quite scarce and therefore has been of little practical use. Even though applying the findings to real-life environments is desirable, it might prove difficult, considering the overall sparse evidence. More research on the predictors of restoration likelihood (eg, social factors), generational and cultural differences, and comparisons between natural and urban environments is recommended.

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