Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
nature & Consumer Environments Trees and Transportation Civic Ecology Policy & Planning Urban Forestry and Human Benefits

A community of science, including investigators from all around the world, have been studying how nearby nature improves human health and wellness.

The Green Cities: Good Health web site summarizes nearly 40 years of research and thousands of peer-reviewed publications. This page contains some of our team's work related to human health and wellness benefits, including products that translate the research to local policy and planning.


Studies, Papers & Information

Metro Nature for Human Health and Wellness
Metro nature is a term that captures the diverse and complex natural and ecological elements in cities, including patches of native landscapes, gardens and other cultural landscapes, urban farms, and the urban forest. A science review, Green Cties: Good Health, shares the results of thousands of peer-reviewed publications about the associations between metro nature and human health and wellness. Building on the article database, our team is now sharing other analyses and ideas about the role of metro nature for urban quality of life - including economic valuation.

new professional product

Wolf, K.L. 2016. Nature's Riches: The Health and Financial Benefits of Nearby Nature. University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy (4.0 M pdf)


House, E., C. O'Connor, K. Wolf, J. Israel, & T. Reynolds. 2016. Outside our Doors: the benefits of cities where people and nature thrive. Seattle, WA: The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Chapter, 26 pp. (1.8 M pdf) (link)


Wolf, K.L., M.K. Measells, S.C. Grado, A.S.T. Robbins. 2015. Economic values of metro nature health benefits: A life course approach. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 14, 694-701.(link)


Wolf, K.L., A.S.T. Robbins. 2015. Metro nature, environmental health, and economic value. Environmental Health Perspectives 123, 5:390-8 (link)

  professional product

2015. Green strategies to improve public health and save billions. International Innovations, issue 195, pp.56-57. (online magazine) (704 K pdf)


Wolf, K.L., and C. Vondrasek. 2014. Technologies for Metro Nature Health Benefits Mapping. Seattle: University of Washington. (24.5 M pdf)


Wolf, K.L., & E. Housley. 2014. Reflect and Restore: Urban Green Space for Mental Wellness. Annapolis MD: TKF Foundation, 12 pp. (7.8 M pdf)

  professional product

Wolf, K.L., & E. Housley. 2014. Environmental Equality: Providing Nearby Nature for Everyone. Annapolis MD: TKF Foundation, 16 pp. (1 M pdf) (link)


Wolf, K.L., & E. Housley. 2013. Feeling Stressed? Take a Time Out in Nature. Annapolis MD: TKF Foundation, 8 pp. (2.4 M pdf)


Wolf, K.L. 2011. Green Cities for Good Health: A Tool for Urban Forestry Advocacy. City Trees: Journal of the Society of Municipal Arborists, 7, 2: 8-15. (5.5 M pdf - or - link)


Wolf, K.L. 2008. Metro Nature Services: Functions, Benefits and Values, pp. 294-315. In: S.M. Wachter and E.L. Birch (Eds.), Growing Greener Cities: Urban Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 416 pp.(4.3 M pdf)


Wolf, K.L. 2008 (Winter). With Plants in Mind: Social Benefits of Civic Nature. MasterGardener, 2, 1:7-11. (1.8 M pdf) and (156 K pdf with citations)

Additional Topics

    Introduction - What is Urban and Community Forestry?
  Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants - Fact Sheet 1 (pdf 44 K)
  Nature & People Benefits Reading List - Fact Sheet 6 (pdf 80 K)
  Using Case Studies in Urban Forestry Education - Fact Sheet 11 (pdf 32 K)
  Wolf, K. 2000. Nature and the Arboretum Visitor. Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin, 61, 4, 2-5.
  The Benefits of Urban Trees: A Literature Summary. Warwick District Council, UK. 2003. (pdf 10.2 MB)
  Wolf, K. L. 2003. Ergonomics of the City: Green Infrastructure and Social Benefits. In C. Kollin (ed.), Engineering Green: Proceedings of the 11th National Urban Forest Conference. Washington D.C.: American Forests. (pdf 260K)
  Wolf, K. L. 2003. Introduction to Urban and Community Forestry Programs in the United States. Landscape Planning and Horticulture, 4, 3 19-28 (Japan). (pdf 1.4 M)


Other Research Organizations
Other universities, centers and laboratories are doing research on urban trees and greening and the relationships to human health, well-being, and quality of life.


Urban Ecosystems and Processes :: US Forest Service, Pacific SW Research Station (link)

    Urban Natural Resources Stewardship :: US Forest Service, Northern Research Station (link)
    Eco-Health Relationship Browser :: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (link)
    Civic Ecology Lab :: Cornell University (link)
    Landscape and Human Health Laboratory :: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (link)
    Open Spaces-Sacred Spaces :: TKF Foundation (link)
    Children and Nature Network (link)
    The Nature of Cities (link)
    Plants for People (link)
    Social, Economic Development and Urban Greening :: UK Forestry Commission (link)


Urban and Community Forestry Organizations:
Other organizations have web sites that provide general information about urban and community forestry.

    National Arbor Day Foundation (link)
    Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (link)
    Alliance for Community Trees (link)
    International Society of Arboriculture (link)
    US Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry (link)
    Washington State Urban & Community Forestry (link)
    American Forests (link)


Information about Dr. Kathleen Wolf, Projects Director



    Curriculum Vitae (link)




Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
Nature & Consumer Environments - Trees & Transportation - Civic Ecology
Policy & Planning - Urban Forestry & Human Benefits

updated May 4, 2020