Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 1005-1019; doi:10.3390/ijerph110101005
Article

The Portrayal of Natural Environment in the Evolution of the Ecological Public Health Paradigm

1 Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Center for Demography and Population Health, Florida State University, 113 Collegiate Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA 2 Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State University, 113 Collegiate Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 November 2013; in revised form: 19 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 10 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
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Abstract: This paper explores the conceptualization of the natural environment in an evolving ecological public health paradigm. The natural environment has long been recognized as essential to supporting life, health, and wellbeing. Our understanding of the relationship between the natural environment and health has steadily evolved from one of an undynamic environment to a more sophisticated understanding of ecological interactions.  This evolution is reflected in a number of ecological public health models which demonstrate the many external and overlapping determinants of human health. Six models are presented here to demonstrate this evolution, each model reflecting an increasingly ecological appreciation for the fundamental role of the natural environment in supporting human health. We conclude that after decades of public health’s acceptance of the ecological paradigm, we are only now beginning to assemble knowledge of sophisticated ecological interdependencies and apply this knowledge to the conceptualization and study of the relationship between the natural environment and the determinants of human health.
Keywords: health; nature; natural environment; green space; green infrastructure; urban planning; built environment; ecology

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MDPI and ACS Style

Coutts, C.; Forkink, A.; Weiner, J. The Portrayal of Natural Environment in the Evolution of the Ecological Public Health Paradigm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1005-1019.

AMA Style

Coutts C, Forkink A, Weiner J. The Portrayal of Natural Environment in the Evolution of the Ecological Public Health Paradigm. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(1):1005-1019.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coutts, Christopher; Forkink, Annet; Weiner, Jocelyn. 2014. "The Portrayal of Natural Environment in the Evolution of the Ecological Public Health Paradigm." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 1: 1005-1019.

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