NDD is a factor in ADHD, depression and violence. Reseachers have found that NDD is associated with health and societal problems. Reducing NDD may well reduce the incidence of these other problems. What is NDD? Nature Deficit Disorder; a lack of trees and greenery in our environment.
Sounds like an idea worth pursuing. I heard a program on the radio last night Greening our Psyche where the point was made that 'our brain didn't grow, evolve and adapt in an environment of grey filing cabinets.'
Poets and artists have long admired greenery. Psychologists have begun using it in therapy. However, town planners have seen it as something that is 'nice' if we can afford it, but not a necessity. Is it a necessity? A study in Chicago looked at 14 fairly identical public housing developments where low income people, often single parents with young children, lived. The apartments tended to be small and overcrowded. Children had little opportunity to play outside. Researchers found that the incidence of violence and crime was highest in the developments that had fewer or no trees.
Apparently greenery seems to psychologically rejuvenate people. We are better able to withstand pressure and more able to control our impulses. The research claims that by greening the worst affected housing developments, crime could be reduced by as much as 7 percent. The Chicago Housing Authority has taken the research on board and is now greening the developments. Trees, grass and playgrounds are now appearing where before there was nothing. Green spaces are increasingly being viewed as community living rooms.
Interesting to see if the crime rates do drop and if depression and ADHD reduce. It seems like a safer, cheaper, healthier approach than medication.
But what about desert dwellers? Are we doomed?
Pic from http://www.lhhl.uiuc.edu/girls_self-discipline.htm