October 3rd was World Habitat Day, so we thought we’d take a look at how our habitat effects us.
How do you feel when you walk into a garden, park or a woodland? Does a little weight lift off your shoulders? Do you feel less tense? Breathe a bit deeper? This may feel like a temporary effect, but research suggests that having access to green places has a sustained positive impact on your health and wellbeing, in a way that more traditional life goals like pay rises or promotions don’t.
There’s also fascinating research out there about the impact of green spaces, and it’s thought to be tied in with our evolution. For 2 million years we lived in the natural world, depending on it for food and shelter. Urban environments have only been a part of our world for a tiny fraction of the time that we have existed on Earth. Some people argue that we thrive more in green spaces because we are wired for green spaces by our evolution. And there’s evidence that being denied access to nature fatigues us mentally, so we struggle to cope with difficult social situations.
Psychologist Ming Kuo studied housing developments in Chicago to understand the impact of bad urban environments on their residents, and made a startling discovery. In buildings with some green space, residents were simply more neighbourly; they were more likely to know their neighbours’ first names, they could approach their neighbours to ask a favour in times of emergency. In buildings without green spaces, not only was this less likely but residents’ behaviour was actually more hostile. Even more amazingly, this research was backed up by crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department. And in experiments where city spaces are greened (laying some turf and planting trees), crime levels dropped!
With new housing developments springing up across the UK, evidence shows the value of landscapers and architects including green spaces. And it does seem to be something that developers are mindful of: in recent years we’ve been turf suppliers for projects in areas across London, including Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral. And people are returning their gardens from gravel and tarmac to grass too. So, slowly, turf and trees are reclaiming the concrete jungle.
If you want to benefit from a greener space, then give us a call! We provide robust vibrant turf to make your home a better space for you.