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An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being Benefits of Plants: Part 3 - Social Benefits

This paper provides evidence from the literature regarding the social benefits associated with plants and how they influence the physiological, psychological, and cognitive well-being constructs affecting quality of life. These benefits are segmented and discussed using the following categories: place or community attachment, reduced crime, disaster resilience, access to locally produced
foods, socialization of children and their school performance, and community therapeutic impacts. The equitable distribution of these green space benefits among local populations is also discussed. This research should be strategically incorporated into both industry-wide and firm-specific marketing messages that highlight the quality of life value proposition in order to maintain the industry’s sense of value and relevance to residential landscape consumers of the future. These findings also present evidence that municipal leaders and policymakers can use in justifying green infrastructure-related funding decisions, as well as grounds for the construction industry using biophilic design principles in ensuring the built environment offers opportunities for green space interactions. The green industry can play a pivotal role not only in providing plants of high quality for these applications but educating stakeholders regarding the benefits discussed herein.

Authors:

Charles R. Hall and Melinda J. Knuth