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Biodiverse green space: a prescription for global urban health


Flies, EJ and Skelly, C and Negi, SS and Parbhakaran, P and Liu, Q and Liu, K and Goldizen, FC and Lease, C and Weinstein, P, Biodiverse green space: a prescription for global urban health, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15, (9) pp. 510-516. ISSN 1540-9295 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

DOI: doi:10.1002/fee.1630


The world is urbanizing and chronic health conditions associated with urban living are on the rise. There is mounting evidence that people with a diverse microbiome (bacteria that inhabit the human body) or who interact with green spaces enjoy better health. However, studies have yet to directly examine how biodiverse urban green spaces (BUGS) might modify the human microbiome and reduce chronic disease. Here we highlight the potential for green spaces to improve health by exposing people to environmental microorganisms that diversify human microbiomes and help regulate immune function. We present four international perspectives (from Australia, China, India, and the UK) on the major challenges and benefits of using BUGS to alleviate health burdens. We propose solutions to these challenges and outline studies that can test the connections between BUGS, immune function, and human health and provide the evidence base for effective BUGS design and use. If further studies reinforce this hypothesis, then BUGS may become a viable tool to stem the global burden of urban-associated chronic diseases.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biodiverse, urban, green space, health, microbiome
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Other biological sciences
Research Field:Global change biology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Flies, EJ (Dr Emily Flies)
ID Code:125126
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-03-28
Last Modified:2018-12-13

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