Next Article in Journal
Analyzing Economic Effects with Energy Mix Changes: A Hybrid CGE Model Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Assessing Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) as an Alternative Material for Mid-Rise Residential Buildings in Cold Regions in China—A Life-Cycle Assessment Approach
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1049;

The Effect of Biodiversity on Green Space Users’ Wellbeing—An Empirical Investigation Using Physiological Evidence

Department of Landscape Architecture, National Chiayi University, Chiayi City 600, Taiwan
Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
Division of National Park, Construction and Planning Agency, Taipei City 10556, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
Full-Text   |   PDF [2642 KB, uploaded 19 October 2016]   |  


Promoting ecological health and human wellbeing are two fundamental goals in landscape sustainability. Green spaces are thought to improve users’ psychological and physical wellbeing through the contact with nature. However, the results of some studies that rely on self-reports suggest that when the level of naturalness in a green space reaches a certain point, the beneficial effects diminish and in some cases can cause negative responses. We explored this possibility through an experimental study in which we use physiological measures rather than perceptions to assess people’s wellbeing. We investigate how people are affected by outdoor settings with varying degrees of biodiversity and whether the correlation between biodiversity and physiological wellbeing is negative or positive. We used multiple measures of insect diversity as an indicator for biodiversity, and biofeedback measures as indicators of wellbeing. Our findings suggest that people are equally affected by more biodiverse and less biodiverse settings. Physiological responses remain largely unchanged when biodiversity increases. This suggests that settings rich in biodiversity will not negatively influence people’s physiological wellbeing, and designers and city planners should not hesitate to use ecological best practices in their designs. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; biofeedback; conservation; wellbeing; sustainability biodiversity; biofeedback; conservation; wellbeing; sustainability

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Chang, K.G.; Sullivan, W.C.; Lin, Y.-H.; Su, W.; Chang, C.-Y. The Effect of Biodiversity on Green Space Users’ Wellbeing—An Empirical Investigation Using Physiological Evidence. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1049.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top