This paper traces evidence of the influence of the landscape on people’s health, from ancient times to the present day, noting how access to nature and attractive green spaces has been a recurring theme in descriptions of therapeutic environments and associated healthy lifestyles. It describes how the theme of health in the picturesque debates of eighteenth century England (including such concepts as ‘active curiosity’) was taken up and developed in arguments for the nineteenth century urban park movement in England and North America. Recent theories on the mechanisms behind health benefits of nature and access to landscape are compared with claimsmadein the nineteenth century and earlier. The importance of access to the landscape appears to be as relevant as ever in the context of modern urban lifestyles but the need for better evidence and understanding remains.
- Health and wellbeing
- Green space