The Connection Between Violence & Trees


I think we all intuitively know that trees have a tremendous impact on how we feel in a space. But for those of you who need proof:

Violence and TreesViolent Crimes

I read about research done in the 1990’s in an inner city Chicago neighborhood that compared the volume of violent crime to green landscaping. Two identical apartment houses with occupants of similar income and education levels were reviewed.  The building that had some trees and shrubs (versus a barren concrete space) had statistically less violent crimes.

Coping Strategies

Some new research being done by Dr. Frances Kuo at the University of Illinois corroborates and has expanded upon this research. The Landscape and Human Health Lab found that women in apartment buildings surrounded by some trees and greenery are better able to cope with living in poverty. They reported greater effectiveness in their lives and less procrastination. They also reported that their problems were less severe and shorter duration. In short, they had a significantly better outlook and perspective on their lives!

Trees also improve the development of more cohesive communities. The green outdoor environment attracts neighbors to spend more time outside, therefore, establishing relationships with each other.

It makes total sense. But I wonder where this wisdom has gone and are urban planners actively using it?

Child Behavior

Their studies also have shown that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have improved behavior after spending time in more natural surroundings. In fact, all children have healthier emotional development when they are actively engaged in nature.

Being in nature improves cognitive thinking, stress levels, and creativity.

What’s up with Feng Shui & Biophilic Design?

So what does this have to do with Feng Shui? Did I get completely off-target? I don’t think so. These studies prove that our connection to the natural world is imperative for living our best lives, which is exactly what Feng Shui and Biophilic Design is about – restoring our connection. Nature reduces stress, anger, and helps create and improve coping strategies to deal with life’s challenges.

5 basic tips for you:

  1. Position yourself so that you have natural views from your desk and seating area at home
  2. If you can’t have a view, place plants and perhaps a water fountain this space
  3. Have several live, fresh, healthy plants around your room
  4. Use wood furnishings and fabrics/rugs made with natural materials
  5. Double the natural light with careful placement of mirrors.

Get out into nature today, when you have a break. Breath some fresh air and enjoy!

Photo credit: Eugene Nikiforov

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Wood - Fire - Earth - Metal - Water

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