WIT Press


NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER IN MODERN CITIES

Price

Free (open access)

Volume

241

Pages

11

Page Range

407 - 417

Published

2020

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP200331

Copyright

Author(s)

ANOUSHEH S. M. NIKKHOU, AZIME TEZER

Abstract

Over the last century, urbanization has become one of the most important topics that has effects on several aspects of citizens’ health. According to the World Bank report, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. This change in lifestyle of humanity has several effects on urban health, which include urban governance; population characteristics; the natural and built environment; social and economic development; service and health emergency management; and food security. The characteristics of urban open spaces have specific impacts on citizens’ health. The population growth in developing countries, especially in Asian countries, has caused a decreasing rate of open spaces per person in recent years and it could be worse in the future. The impact of natural areas on children’s health and how it would be effective on Nature-Deficit Disorder treatments, which cause several mental and physical issues for children, is the focus of this study. The main idea of this study is based on the Nature-Deficit Disorder concept, which has discussed by Richard Louv regarding the importance of nature connection on children’s wellbeing. In this study, an in-depth interview was conducted with primary school students – children between age 4 and 12 – and their teachers in Mazandaran, the northern and green province of Iran, and the educational environment has been selected as a tool to measure the impacts of being in nature as a daily activity of children’s wellbeing and their learning quality. As a result of the research, we found that students with more daily nature connection at school or in their neighborhoods have better performance and capability at school and also in their social and cognitive skills.

Keywords

children as citizens, urban health, nature-deficit disorder (NDD), children’s health, education facility, urban planning