Research Briefings and Monographs

Please see the links below for articles that may provide ideas for research concepts, methods, and results reporting in peer-reviewed journals. The collection provides examples of the diversity of theory, conceptual foundations, and methodology that has been applied in investigations of human response to urban nature. Though the reports may not depict conditions or populations that exactly resemble Open Spaces Sacred Places sites and users, the articles exhibit a diverse array of cognitive, emotive, and physiological responses that may be similar to outcomes experienced by Open Spaces Sacred Places users.

Stress-Response-ReportStress has become a constant for many city residents. Tragic or traumatic situations and events may disrupt people’s lives, but are no longer the most common sources of stress. Everyday life now presents chronic stressors such as financial strain, complex family interactions, extended commutes, and other persistent situations. Such everyday, relentless stressors now have a greater impact on health and well-being for many people than any infrequent major upset.Click here to download PDF


Mental-Wellness-BriefingA holistic, optimistic approach to health supports productive individuals and livable communities where people can thrive. Health is not simply an absence of disease or infirmity, but is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Wholesome living environments integrate the opportunities of built, social, natural, and (increasingly) online components to help people be at their best. One important aspect of health – mental function and wellness – is not only the outcome of personal and lifestyle situations, but is highly dependent on the natural and built environments that surround a person.Click here to download PDF


Every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or age, is entitled to live in a home, neighborhood, and city that supports wellness and good health. Public discussions about environment and health have changed over time. Early scientific studies about health risks in communities focused on the presence of toxins or reduced environmental quality (of air or water, for example). More recently, aligning with the growing evidence about the benefits of having access to nearby nature, there is commitment to equal access to the environments that promote health, wellness, and well-being. More recent public health studies note the absence or inadequate presence of trees, parks and open spaces in underserved neighborhoods. Even the smallest bits of nature in the city can make a positive difference in every person’s daily life.Click here to download PDF

Research on the Beneficial Aspects of the Experience of Nature in Cities – A Literature Review – Click here to download PDF

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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