From Boston.com comes evidence that city life impairs our basic mental processes. "After spending a few
minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things
in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control." And one of the main reasons is the lack of nature, "which is
surprisingly beneficial for the brain." Even fleeting glimpses of nature improve brain performance.
Anti-lawn activists will love this part. The mostly-lawn nature of most urban parks is "due in part to the 'savannah hypothesis,' which
argues that people prefer wide-open landscapes that resemble the
African landscape in which we evolved. Over time, this hypothesis has
led to a proliferation of expansive civic lawns, punctuated by a few
trees and playing fields.
"However, these savannah-like parks are
actually the least beneficial for the brain. In a recent paper, Richard
Fuller, an ecologist at the University of Queensland, demonstrated that
the psychological benefits of green space are closely linked to the
diversity of its plant life. When a city park has a larger variety of
trees, subjects that spend time in the park score higher on various
measures of psychological well-being, at least when compared with less
Photo credit: Central Park.com.