Academic papers and other referenceable material concerning access to nature. 

NatureplayWA have a fantastic resources page full of research on the benefits of unstructured outdoor play. Click here to go there.

To contribute a document to this page please submit details here.   

This content is provided for reference purposes alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of ParklandWA - See full disclaimer.    

 Title Author  Year  Synopsis/Executive Summary Keywords  Location 
Cool communities: Urban trees, climate and health Helen Brown, Dianne Katscherian, May Carter, Jeff Spickett  2013

Our warming climate has the potential to have adverse effects on our health and wellbeing. People who live in urban environments are particularly susceptible as Urban Heat Islands (UHI) can be created in built up areas through storage and reflection of the solar radiation from building and construction materials.

The effects of UHI can be reduced by green spaces and vegetation, which can cool local environments and provide other aesthetic and environmental advantages. Trees have been shown to provide the greatest benefits to people and the environment, and international and national support for the retention and replacement of urban trees is strong.

Directions 2031 and Beyond, Perth’s current state planning framework, emphasises the need to limit peri-urban greenfield development through urban infill. The policy also endorses development of a green vibrant Perth and Peel region. Management processes for urban infill have been established but there are few clearly developed processes for management of trees.

A workshop was held to consider issues relating to tree canopy management in the metropolitan area. The outcomes of the workshop demonstrate potential directions and strategies to achieve cooler and healthier environments for Perth’s communities.

Urban, trees, climate, health, planning, wellbeing, perth, urban heat island, workshop Perth, Western Australia
Urban Greenspace: Connecting People and Nature Barnett, Guy, Doherty, Michael & Beaty, Matthew 2013 The case study is by CSIRO and the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) in an urban green space located within Melbourne, Australia.  The case study was about measuring green space compared to “traditional cadastral” or map-based methods. But the results show that there are considerable health benefits by connecting people with nature. As Australia a country with very rich biodiversity, it is seen as a foreground for such developments and case studies. Throughout the study, a survey was conducted within sites with green spaces and biodiversity, considering a natural sense of place connecting people and nature together. Furthermore the results found that people’s knowledge of biodiversity of there surroundings is not very high, encouraging the need for such knowledge to be displayed within green spaces, to get communities and people in touch more with nature. In conclusion it successfully demonstrates new such technologies with peoples health, socio-economic data and how its positive effect from nature and biodiversity.    
Design Principles for Nature Play Spaces  Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood  2009  The reference suggest that unstructured nature based play, by allowing children to be in contact with nature in the outdoors allows for long-life development and conservation values into the future. Green Hearts encourage a set of core principles that are based on their experience in bonding children to the natural world. As well through specific design elements, they establish a sound knowledge and research to how connecting an environmentally educational nature space will benefit children in the long run, through health and wellbeing, conservation and knowledge of biodiversity. Their goal is to encourage the use of nature play, education and design principles to restore and strengthen children’s and peoples bonds with nature.     
Children in the outdoors. Sustainable Development Research Centre. Munoz, S. A. 2009  The article, website and research study focuses on children’s physical, mental and social benefits and integration with the outdoors and nature. By creating a sense of education and highlighting children’s contact with outside natural settings, creates the sense of health benefits, safety and putting them in touch with nature. Throughout the literature it makes sense of the concerning decline with children and outdoor activities and play, but through such creative natural and urban designs expressing the use of education within a natural setting, in tries to go against such current trends. The benefits are endless, when children’s choose to play within natural settings including ideas of them creating interaction and independence in themselves, by learning new things and physically interacting with nature.  Such designs can be designing of effective natural playgrounds, school grounds, environmental play projects and educational projects with suitable access for children within such surroundings.