Dose-response modelling for urban nature

Shanahan, D.F., Fuller, R.A., Bush, R., Lin, B.B. & Gaston, K.J. (2015) The Health Benefits of Urban Nature: How Much Do We Need? BioScience 65 (5), 476-485.stannington

Over 30 years of research has shown that urban nature is a promising tool for enhancing the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the world’s growing urban population. However, little is known about the type and amount of nature people require in order to receive different health benefits, preventing the development of recommendations for minimum levels of exposure and targeted city planning guidelines for public health outcomes. Dose–response modelling, when a dose of nature is modeled against a health response, could provide a key method for addressing this knowledge gap. In this overview, we explore how “nature dose” and health response have been conceptualized and examine the evidence for different shapes of dose–response curves. We highlight the crucial need to move beyond simplistic measures of nature dose to understand how urban nature can be manipulated to enhance human health.