It will not be surprising to many that greenspace has health benefits for people as well as benefits for ecosystems and biodiversity. Do the benefits extend to students on university campuses?
Research recently published in Environment & Behaviour from the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University describes how students’ perceptions of campus ‘greenness’ was associated with their higher quality of life. The relationship was primarily driven by the psychologically restorative benefits of time by students in greenspace – relaxing in greenspace to de-stress and restore cognitive function.
The authors recommend that universities regard campus greenspace as a prescription for student health. As our university grows and builds this research is a useful reminder to design and build not just buildings but landscapes for better and healthier environments for staff and students.
In a related study on Victoria University campus, Frances Forsyth (MSc candidate with CBRE) will soon be surveying staff and students about their own experience and use of campus greenspace. Keep your eye out for her on-line survey.