Nature Connection & Mental Health of Communities

Urbanization in developing societies is growing very fast and is mostly associated with growing informal settlement issues exposed to extreme violence, stress and inequality.

Research shows that the bottom-up community activism and regular interactions with nature can develop stronger community bonds and coping mechanisms – very important tools to improve the quality of life in urban informal settlements.

Through this program we strive to bring back the leadership, stewardship and mental well-being to communities around the world which need to become more liveable places. With our research we want to inform the practice and real change happening at these places.


Planting Seeds of Empowerment: Actions to Promote Healthy Communities
10.01.2020 - ongoing

As part of the exploratory phase of this study it is proposed to investigate any form of bottom-up actions with natural landscapes (i.e., urban farming, community gardens) in both Medellin and Bangladesh slums, in order to understand if these bottom-up actions are a coping strategy to adverse or extreme environments. In other words, understand: 1) how these bottom-up actions emerge; 2) what actors are involved; 3) what place-base strategies are implemented as alternative ways of empowerment during the project’s development; and 4) the potential of such strategies in the health and well-being  of the communities and the confounding variables that could foster the positive effects (i.e., stress reduction, community networks, sense of community, sense of belonging, place attachment, necessity of progress, nature connection).

Related posts:

Unravelling links among climate change, poverty and health in slums of Dhaka

Connecting Social and Urban Studies with Health and Well-being of Communities – Speech at the National University of Colombia in Manizales