There are numerous studies confirming that live near trees or forests it is better for our well-being and, in fact, if we ask those who live in the middle of nature and those who live urbanized, there are clear differences that have to do with stress, diet…
The architect Laura Gärna, director of Gärna Estudio, specialized in “natural integration”, comments that human beings, by tradition, need this contact with the environment, since it has only been a few centuries when we have lived in closed interior spaces. “We have to go back to basics, putting plants at home, choosing designs that evoke nature… and we must not only do it with decoration, but also from architecture,” he adds.
And, besides this, why not live near her? The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends access to a green space that measures at least 0.5 hectares, at a distance in a straight line of no more than 300 meters from each residence.
A reality that -despite Spain being the country with the largest biosphere in the European Union- transferred to large Spanish cities, is hardly fulfilled.
To check whether citizens live near vegetated areas, urban forester Cecil Koninjnendijk recommends asking the following questions:you can see three trees? Is there 30% plant cover in your neighborhood? Do you live less than 300 meters from a park? Issues pertaining to 3-30-300 rule proposed by the expert to develop healthier cities. In fact, the WHO recommends that in large cities 1 of the 3 requirements included in the rule be met, due to the physical and mental health benefits that direct contact with the natural environment provides: creativity, increased concentration, reduces stress, relaxes us…
For his part, the landscape designer Fernando Pozuelo complements the 3-30-300 rule with the theory of the four-leaf clover and the imaginary green line, which highlights the alignment of citizens with nature. Thus, this relationship between the human being and the three elements -trees, green spaces and parks or gardens- entails, in addition to health benefits, an implicit ecological awareness: «This imaginary green line opens up an energetic sense of nature inside of cities”.
In addition, the landscaper indicates that “nature has the ability to offer multiple benefits to humansAnd we often forget about it. Sometimes, the places where we spend the most time in our day to day, such as our homes or even jobs, are far from green spaces. However, we can condition them to have natural elements that allow us to foster that much-needed connection.”
Living away from nature
But, what happens if our homes are far from parks or garden areas? Fernando Pozuelo shares landscape tips to carry out inside our houses:
Evoke a landscape from our window. Placing pots on the windowsill helps to visualize vegetation from inside the house. Species such as Geranium and Chrysanthemum -permanent shrubs- or Begoña and Pansy -seasonal- are easy to maintain, they also stand out for their ability to adapt to changing climatic conditions in cities. Its brightly colored flowers or even its aromas generate sensations of well-being.
Subtle woods on balconies. Complementing the balconies with shrubs help to realize this idea that the 3-30-300 rule recommends. Not only does it improve our mood, but it dampens the bustle of the city and reduces the stress levels that these noises cause.
Include plants indoors of our home influences our well-being. The Poto, the Sanseviera or the Cinta are very resistant plants that also have the ability to purify the air. Specifically, they allow you to breathe a clean environment, which helps to reduce tension and stress, generating a feeling of well-being.
Others such as Peppermint or Mint allow to activate the metabolism. Its cultivation and care can be done indoors, such as in small greenhouses.