Medical Technology

For city dwellers, Nature Combats Loneliness

A study of the connection between isolation and closeness to nature has revealed a link that can be used to design for better cities.

What you need to be aware of:

  • A new study has shown that people who live in cities can reap the many benefits of nature, as well as feeling less lonely when they have access to it.

  • The Urban Mind research app was used for collecting information from people living in cities around the globe. For two weeks more than 750 people answered questions about whether they felt comfortable and if they could see trees.

  • The study published in Scientific Reports found that loneliness raised by 39% because of feeling overcrowded. However the ability to view and hear the natural world (like birds and trees) resulted in a decrease of 28% of loneliness. The contact with nature also increased the positive effects of social inclusion.

  • Researchers have suggested that feelings of belonging to specific natural areas within cities may further reduce loneliness, and also provide more opportunities for social interaction, though not evaluated by the study.

  • A landscape architect, Johanna Gibbons, and an artist, Michael Smythe, were part of the research team. According to Smythe, who works on social and urban projects, data from studies like this help to explain the value of natural spaces to public health.

This is a summary of the article, “Contact With Nature in Cities Can Reduce Loneliness, A Study Finds,” published by The Guardian on December 20. The full article is available on

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The Medical Progress

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