The Landscape and Human Health Laboratory (LHHL) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to studying the connection between greenery and human health.
Girls and Greenery: Views of Green Help Girls Succeed
(2002) In a study conducted in a Chicago public housing development, girls who lived in apartments with greener, more natural views scored better on tests of self-discipline than those living in more barren but otherwise identical housing. The study tested children on three component abilities of self-discipline: concentration, inhibition of impulsive behavior, and delay of gratification. Girls with green views scored higher on average than girls with less green views on all three tests. Boys showed no link between test scores and the amount of nature near home, most likely because they spend less time playing near home and are then less affected by the environment around it.
Green Streets, Not Mean Streets: Vegetation May Cut Crime in the Inner City
(2001) In a 2001 study in one Chicago public housing development, there were dramatically fewer occurrences of crime against both people and property in apartment buildings surrounded by trees and greenery than in nearby identical apartments that were surrounded by barren land. In fact, compared with buildings that had little or no vegetation, buildings with high levels of greenery had 48 percent fewer property crimes and 56 percent fewer violent crimes. Even modest amounts of greenery were associated with lower crime rates. The greener the surroundings, the fewer the number of crimes that occurred.
Go Out and Play! Nature Adds Up for Kids with ADD
(2001) In an initial, Midwestern-based survey, parents of children with AD/HD were more likely to nominate activities that typically occur in green outdoor settings as being best for their child’s symptoms and activities that typically occur in indoor or non-green outdoor settings as worst for symptoms. Also, parents rated their child’s symptoms as better, on average, after activities that occur in green settings than after activities in non-green settings. In the subsequent, nation-wide survey, parents again rated leisure activities—such as reading or playing sports—as improving children’s symptoms more when performed in green outdoor settings than in non-green settings.
Nice To See You: How Trees Build a Neighborhood
(2001) Residential common areas with trees and other greenery help to build strong neighborhoods. In a study conducted at a Chicago public housing development, residents of buildings with more trees and grass reported that they knew their neighbors better, socialized with them more often, had stronger feelings of community, and felt safer and better adjusted than did residents of more barren, but otherwise identical, buildings.
Cooler in the Shade: Aggression and Violence are Reduced with Nature Nearby
(2000s) In a study conducted in a Chicago public housing development, women who lived in apartment buildings with trees and greenery immediately outside reported committing fewer aggressive and violent acts against their partners in the preceding year than those living in barren but otherwise identical buildings. In addition, the women in greener surroundings reported using a smaller range of aggressive tactics during their lifetime against their partner.