Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Book chapter2024

Improving green space design based on health design theory and environmental psychology

Bengtsson, Anna; Åshage, Anna; Andersson, Martina; et al.


Given the importance of going outdoors for health and well-being, researchers have developed evidence-based models based on extensive research to enable a comprehensive and time-efficient use of evidence in design, planning, and management. Together, the three evidence-based models—the four zones of contact, the quality evaluation tool, and the triangle of supportive environment—describe crucial zones and environmental qualities of green spaces which support and inspire people in general as well as people with particular needs, to use the outdoors. The aim of this chapter is to present the evidence-based models and to describe a four-step process to guide practitioners on how to use the models in green space development. The evidence-based working process does not replace established practices; rather, it is intended to complement existing practices of municipalities or offices working with green space development. Therefore, even if multiple municipalities use the same models, the results are always unique to each site and context. Based on the work within the NORDGREEN project, we have found that the models are useful for projects in varying scales and contexts, and with varying target groups, to support, inspire, and inform green space design, planning, and management for health and well-being.

Published in

Nordregio Report
2024, number: 2024:1, pages: 79-104
Title: Green and healthy Nordic cities : How to plan, design, and manage health-promoting urban green space
ISBN: 978-91-8001-088-7
Publisher: Nordregio
DOI: 10.6027/R2024:11403-2503

      SLU Authors

      • Associated SLU-program

        Built environment
        SLU Future One Health
        SLU Urban Futures

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
        SDG3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
        Landscape Architecture

        Permanent link to this page (URI)