Publication date: Available online 28 November 2018
Source: Health & Place
Author(s): Ann Ojala, Kalevi Korpela, Liisa Tyrväinen, Pekka Tiittanen, Timo Lanki
In this experiment we investigated how individual differences in orientation towards built vs. nature environment as well as noise sensitivity affect psychological and physiological restoration in a constructed urban park, urban woodland and city centre of Helsinki, Finland. The participants, 30–61-year-old healthy women (N = 83), visited each study site once. The experiment consisted of a 15-min viewing session, followed by a 30-min walking session in each environment. We measured restorative effects: perceived restorative outcomes, vitality, and blood pressure in these three environments. The data were analysed in SAS with a linear mixed model. We found significant differences between environments in psychological restorative effects, but not in blood pressure. The urban-nature orientedness, and to a lesser extent noise sensitivity, modified the effect of environment on restoration. In conclusion, individual characteristics affect psychological restoration provided by various urban environments. Varying needs of individuals should be taken into account in city planning.