Vertical Greenery and Stress (07-16-21)

Hian and colleagues used virtual reality to study the psychological implications of vertical (e.g., on the sides of buildings) greenery.  They report that they “examined the buffering effects of vertical greenery, an increasingly popular form of urban nature in high-density cities, by using VR to simulate the experience of walking through a noisy downtown area where buildings’ exteriors were covered with vertical greenery. Our results suggest that vertical greenery on city buildings can buffer against the negative psychophysiological consequences of stress. . . . Our findings have important practical implications for city planning and design, especially for high-density urban areas. It suggests that vertical greenery systems, and possibly even artificial plants, may provide buffering effects to minimize the detrimental consequences of stress. While our study focused on outdoor environments, it is possible that vertical greenery can be applied to indoor environments such as metro stations or shopping malls where spaces are limited.”

Sarah Hian, May Chan, Lin Qiu, Gianluca Esposito, and Ky Mai. 2021.  “Vertical Greenery Buffers Against Stress:  Evidence from Psychophysiological Responses in Virtual Reality.”  Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 213, 104127,