Health Promotion Forum


Nature-based strategies to promote health


  • William Burdick, MD, MSEd, Vice Secretary-General, The Network: Towards Unity for Health


  • Michelle Kondo, PhD, Scientist, USDA Forest Service, US


  • Ione Avila-Palencia, PhD, Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Ndiko Ludidi, PhD, Professor of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Shazly Savahl, PhD, Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, South Africa
  • Matthew Tucker, MLA, Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture, Thomas Jefferson University, US


  • Veronika Duwel

Organized by The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH)

Interaction with the natural environment is an often underappreciated strategy for wellness with demonstrated benefits for psychological and physical health for all ages, community cohesion, and even physical safety and nutrition.  Panelists discuss urban nature-based strategies to support environmental and social resilience, and promote better public health, safety, and security.  After Michelle Kondo provides a keynote on the effect of greening vacant land on the mental health of community-dwelling adults, Ndiko Ludidi discusses urban agriculture to promote food security, Ione Avila-Palencia reviews the incorporation of greenspace into urban design, Shazly Savahl examines the relation between children’s participation in daily activities, their engagement with family and friends, and subjective well-being, and Matthew Tucker discusses community cohesion as an outcome of greenspace development.  We hope by the end of the session that participants will expand their concept of health promotion and wellness to include design that increases interaction with nature.