Reaping the Benefits of Green Space

Exciting times are afoot. There appears to be increasing recognition that contact with nature can yield a range of health benefits. Major efforts are underway to improve access to discrete green spaces, as well as to increase tree canopy cover, within many cities in Australia and around the world.

Green space is being appreciated as an important component of a liveable city and many of the underlying reasons are now widely known. Or are they?

In our presentation, we will discuss matters of contingency and present evidence to show how some groups are able to reap the benefits of green space more than others.
We will reveal emerging ideas and evidence for hitherto unexplored pathways linking green space and health.
We will conclude with thoughts on possible avenues for future academic-industry research collaboration and co-production.

Professor Thomas Astell-Burt

Thomas is the Professor of Population Health and Environmental Data Science and the Founding Co-Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab) at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Thomas is also an NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellow (1 of only 4 awarded in public health in Australia).
Thomas has a long-standing interest in the relationship between nature and human health, especially on the potential of green space to enrich environments for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus in cities.

Associate Professor Xiaoqi Feng

Xiaoqi is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow in the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine and an Adjunct Professor with the National Institute of Environmental Health at China CDC. Xiaoqi leads a program of research focused on enhancing population wellbeing through identifying modifiable environmental factors (e.g. disadvantage, urban green space, food environment) that shape health and developmental trajectories and inequities among newborns, children, adolescents and women across the lifecourse. She has authored >140 publications, led major research projects (funding >$9.1M, including NHMRC, Heart Foundation), and successfully translated her research into policy and practice.