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10 March 2022

Connectedness to nature: An opportunity to face urbanisation and mental health challenges at hand

Connectedness to nature: An opportunity to face urbanisation and mental health challenges at hand

In modern times it is universally understood that improving the relationship we have with nature can help us to positively address many of the societal challenges we are facing. Some of the challenges we are experiencing are related to mental health, while others are related to the rapid and disorganized urbanisation we are experiencing. To date, several organisations, including the United Nations, have targeted these two aspects through their Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically goals three and eleven address the issues of mental health and urbanisation, and seek to give an important role in improving quality of life.

GoGreenRoutes through funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme is one such project helping to meet these UN goals. Unlike other projects, it is doing this through the use, research and promotion of connectedness to nature (CN). The CN is a term planted by Wilson (1984) and comes from the Biophilia Hypothesis. This hypothesis states that the connection that exists between nature and human beings is beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.

GogreenRoutes (GGR), in collaboration with the Technische Universität München (TUM), is developing the base of the pyramid to better understand the connection to nature. The ultimate goal is to develop in conjunction with other members of the GGR, an instrument that facilitates the measurement of nature connectedness in urban environments.

This is not an easy task. On the contrary, it has been a titanic effort that has involved the contributions from many people around the world. However, one thing is unquestionable. This is an undeniable milestone which will allow us to construct a better future, with better urban planning and better mental health for all.

Learn more about GoGreenRoutes promotion of connectedness to nature here.

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