Scientific research across recent decades has provided evidence of the broad array of benefits provided by urban greening. "Ecosystem services" is a concept that provides a framework for understanding and strategically generating nature based functions and benefits. Several classifications of ecosystem services have been proposed (including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Within the urban context, environmental benefits and services are becoming better understood and more recognized. Unfortunately, human health and well being (HHWB) benefits are often reduced to a simple matter of aesthetics in public dialog. A comprehensive research literature review and summary is being prepared to serve as a national outreach resource about the full scope of HHWB benefits knowledge. The literature is extensive but is located in publications across many disciplines so is not easily accessible. The research compendium will ultimately be a comprehensive reference that provides important justifications for why society should invest in urban forestry and natural resources stewardship. The web-based product will be oriented to professionals, local government officials, and concerned citizens. The literature review is the first step in compiling empirical understandings of human response to urban trees and nature. The project could become the foundation of an extended modeling of ecosystem services provided by metro nature: 1) research assessment and summary (now underway), 2) geospatial modeling of human health and well-being conditions, and 3) economic valuation of benefits. Based on these proposed activities it may be feasible to create an “i-Tree Community” module as an addition to the USDA Forest Service i-Tree suite of analytic tools.
Wolf, Kathleen L.
"Human Health & Well-Being: Evidence for an Expanded Framework of Ecosystem Services in Cities,"
Cities and the Environment (CATE):
1, Article 24.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol3/iss1/24