Greenery in the university environment: Students’ preferences and perceived restoration likelihood

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A large body of evidence shows that interaction with greenery can be beneficial for human stress reduction, emotional states, and improved cognitive function. It can, therefore, be expected that university students might benefit from greenery in the university environment. Before investing in real-life interventions in a university environment, it is necessary to first explore students’ perceptions of greenery in the university environment. This study examined (1) preference for university indoor and outdoor spaces with and without greenery (2) perceived restoration likelihood of university outdoor spaces with and without greenery and (3) if preference and perceived restoration likelihood ratings were modified by demographic characteristics or connectedness to nature in Dutch university students (N = 722). Digital photographic stimuli represented four university spaces (lecture hall, classroom, study area, university outdoor space). For each of the three indoor spaces there were four or five stimuli conditions: (1) the standard design (2) the standard design with a colorful poster (3) the standard design with a nature poster (4) the standard design with a green wall (5) the standard design with a green wall plus interior plants. The university outdoor space included: (1) the standard design (2) the standard design with seating (3) the standard design with colorful artifacts (4) the standard design with green elements (5) the standard design with extensive greenery. Multi-level analyses showed that students gave higher preference ratings to the indoor spaces with a nature poster, a green wall, or a green wall plus interior plants than to the standard designs and the designs with the colorful posters. Students also rated preference and perceived restoration likelihood of the outdoor spaces that included greenery higher than those without. Preference and perceived restoration likelihood were not modified by demographic characteristics, but students with strong connectedness to nature rated preference and perceived restoration likelihood overall higher than students with weak connectedness to nature. The findings suggest that students would appreciate the integration of greenery in the university environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0192429
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018

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