International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE)

Green oases in the city - optimal design equals optimal relaxation?

Friday 1 March 2024

How can urban parks be optimally designed to promote well-being and protect nature at the same time? And what ultimately makes them a true oasis of peace?

In a world where we are exposed to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many of us long for a retreat in nature. But how can urban green spaces be designed most effectively to fulfill this longing? The results of a study by researchers from the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn and the International Center for Sustainable Development at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences offer valuable insights into how to improve urban park environments and show how they can reconcile the needs of humans and animals.

Stadtpark Colourbox 17796440

In a world where we often rush from one appointment to the next during the week and are constantly busy, many of us long for a balance in nature in our free time to find peace and quiet. But does this inner peace really happen automatically and everywhere in nature? Why do we feel so much more balanced there? How can these spaces be designed most effectively and what factors actually contribute to us feeling so balanced in nature?


Unsurprisingly, not only the presence but also the quality of green spaces is crucial for human well-being and the preservation of biodiversity in urban areas. By prioritizing safety, integrating natural elements and promoting biodiversity, urban parks can be designed and managed to balance the needs of people and wildlife, creating healthier and more resilient urban areas.


The results of a study conducted by the research college "One Health and Urban Transformation - Identifying Risks and Developing Sustainable Solutions" by researchers from the Center for Development Research (ZEF), the Geo Health Centre and the Institute for Geodesy and Geoinformation (Urban Planning and Land Management) at the University of Bonn and the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences provide actionable insights for improving urban park environments.


In this study, they used the One Health approach to investigate the impact of urban parks on human mental health and support for wildlife. They show that the perceived recreation of park users strongly depends on location and factors such as safety and naturalness.In order to reconcile the needs of humans and animals in green spaces, a heterogeneous green infrastructure network is required that takes into account so-called trade-offs and creates synergies between the dimensions.

The One Health approach is an integrative approach that aims to view the health of humans, animals and the environment as inextricably linked.

Trade-offs are decisions in which you have to choose between different options, often sacrificing the advantages of one option in favor of others.
Colourbox Nr. 22834573 Papier, Bücher, Publikation

Urban Park Qualities Driving Visitors Mental Well-being and Wildlife Conservation in a Neotropical Megacity

colourbox 4964709 Strommast Strom_liz (DE)

Research project: One Health - A holistic approach to metropolitan regions

Title Verantwortungsvolles Wirtschaften

IZNE subject field: Responsible Economy and Natural Resources


Personenporträt Prof. Dr. Wiltrud Terlau

Wiltrud Terlau

Professor of Economics, Resilient and Sustainable Development, Director of the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE), Department of Economics

Research fields




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