Skip to main content


Log in

Wellbeing and urban living: nurtured by nature

  • Published:
Urban Ecosystems Aims and scope Submit manuscript

A Correction to this article was published on 01 August 2018

This article has been updated


In recent decades, empirical evidence has demonstrated that nature can enable urban environments to support human wellbeing. Research into links between nature and human wellbeing is often carried out with one wellbeing index or in single locations, which can limit our understanding of findings. To further this work, we deployed an online survey to residents of the two most-populous cities in both Australia and New Zealand. The survey measured self-reported wellbeing via three indices used widely in the literature: general wellbeing (WHO-5), personal wellbeing, and psychological wellbeing. We compared results with two biodiversity indicators: bird species richness and the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of respondents’ postcodes. We also asked respondents to rate the amount of nature they view from their immediate environment: both at home and at work or other frequent location. Our results support a link between local nature and human wellbeing across all four cities, significantly in the two Australian cities. Qualitative data reveals that urban life can challenge human wellbeing by creating a unique suite of stresses that residents strive to balance. There is the potential for nature to support human wellbeing in typically degraded urban environments. While this work corroborates existing literature demonstrating links between human wellbeing and nature, our qualitative research extends our understanding of these links by providing more detailed and nuanced information.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others

Change history

  • 01 August 2018

    Table 3 contained an error in how the degrees of freedom are displayed. The comma separating the model (e.g., 1) and error (e.g., 121) has been deleted in the Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney columns. Where the degrees of freedom should read “1,121”, for example, it displays as “1121”. The corrected table follows.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lucy Taylor.

Electronic supplementary material


(PDF 195 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Taylor, L., Hahs, A.K. & Hochuli, D.F. Wellbeing and urban living: nurtured by nature. Urban Ecosyst 21, 197–208 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: