Our capacity to pay attention—to employ top-down attention by directing our focus toward one idea or task while excluding from our consciousness a host of competing stimuli and thoughts—is key to every human achievement. But top-down attention is a limited resource that fatigues with use. Research demonstrates that having contact with nature, even in otherwise dense urban settings, can restore our ability to focus. Thus, access to natural elements in the form of parks, interconnected green corridors, street trees, rain gardens, green roofs, and green walls do more that provide attractive places for people to live, work, and play. They help people recover from the attentional fatigue that is part of everyday life. In doing so, these landscape elements help us achieve our goals in life. One implication of these findings is that we should redouble our efforts to ensure that we provide nature at every doorstep.
- Mental fatigue
- Green infrastructure
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Sullivan, W.C., Li, D. (2021). Nature and Attention. In: Schutte, A.R., Torquati, J.C., Stevens, J.R. (eds) Nature and Psychology. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, vol 67. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69020-5_2
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