Professor Terry Hartig

The science of restorative experience: Understanding a general pathway for health benefits of natural environments.

17 July, 2017
University of Wollongong

Co-Speaker Dr Xiaoqi Feng is a Founding Co-Director of the PowerLab and a National Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Health. Her research is multidisciplinary and policy driven. She is particularly interested in children’s environmental health and uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and multilevel models to analyse sources of social, spatial and administrative data.

Professor Terry Hartig has spent more than 30 years studying how environments can help people to recover from efforts to meet the demands of everyday life. This work has most frequently focused on nature as a restorative environment. After writing his doctoral dissertation on restorative environments theory at the University of California at Irvine, he completed postdoctoral training in social epidemiology at the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1996 he has worked with the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University, where he holds a professorship in environmental psychology. He has published widely on the experience of nature and health and is a frequently cited contributor to the international scientific literature on nature and health.

Seminar Abstract: How can visits to parks, beaches and other natural settings enable healthy and active lives? To date, scientists have focused on particular pathways in line with disciplinary conventions. In this presentation Prof Hartig will discuss psychological restoration as a family of processes that can support mental and physical health through the accumulation of beneficial effects of encounters with the natural environment - in parks, walking along streets, looking out from a window, visiting a private garden, and so on. He will first discuss some specific processes under the restoration rubric, and then discuss how restorative experience may relate to other pathways between urban nature and health, including mitigation of exposures to noise and air pollution and the promotion of physical activity.