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Review article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Health-Promoting Nature-Based Paradigms in Urban Planning

Grahn, Patrik; Stoltz, Jonathan; Skärbäck, Erik; Bengtsson, Anna


Since the 19th century, urban planning has largely been guided by ambitions to improve the population’s wellbeing and living conditions. Parks and green areas have played a significant role in this work. However, the confidence in the function of green areas, and thus the motives for creating urban parks and green open spaces, have shifted over the years, which has affected both the planning and design of green areas. This entry describes three overarching paradigm shifts in urban planning, from the end of the 18th century to today, and the focus is on the major paradigm shift that is underway: how green areas can mitigate climate effects, increase biodiversity and at the same time support people’s health and living conditions in a smart city.


landscape architecture; biophilic design; restorative environments; smart cities; climate change; attention restoration; stress reduction; calm and connection; perceived sensory dimensions; urban heat islands

Published in

2023, Volume: 3, number: 4, pages: 1419-1438