Wyles and her colleagues found that not all natural environments are equally restorative. What Wyles and her team have learned about the relative “restorativeness” of different places can be used to select the locations for, and orientations of, buildings, and also to choose art (when art is being used to support cognitive refreshment), for example. The researchers report that “Exposure to nature can . . . enhance psychological restoration (e.g., feeling relaxed/refreshed). . . . The present study used data from a large survey in England . . . which asked participants to recall a recent visit to nature. . . . respondents recalled greater . . . restoration following visits to rural and coastal locations compared with urban green space, and to sites of higher environmental quality (. . . [those having] protected/designated area status, for example, nature reserves). . . . urban and rural green spaces and coastal locations with designated status were all associated with greater recalled restoration than locations without designated status.”
Kayleigh Wyles, Mathew White, Caroline Hattam, Sabine Pahl, Haney King, and Melanie Austen. “Are Some Natural Environments More Psychologically Beneficial Than Others? The Importance of Type and Quality on Connectedness to Nature and Psychological Restoration.” Environment and Behavior, in press.