How can urban forests make us happier and healthier?

For more information, contact Forestry Undergraduate Student Services at or 604.822.1834.

Course Description

Course UFOR 200 provides an introduction to the various physiological and psychological contributions of urban forests to human well-being. This lecture-based course and seminar will explore basic relationships between urban resident’s mental and physical well-being and their urban forest environment. Lectures will address the historical context of urban forest planning in relation to human health, explore the basic psychological connections between nature and human well-being, and introduce physical health contributions of urban forests, such as urban recreation, air quality management, and temperature modification.

Course Objectives

This course exposes students to the breadth of knowledge linking human well-being and urban nature. The course will develop a basic understanding of fundamental human health concepts and their linkages to the field of urban forestry. Concepts discussed include the role of urban trees in:

  • Improving mental health
  • Promoting physical activity and recreation
  • Improving urban air and water quality
  • Providing shade
  • Providing environmental education

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the benefits of human contact with nature and green spaces
  • Understand the basics of how urban forests can be designed and planned to contribute to human well-being
  • Describe historical precedents of urban forests designed for human health
  • Communicate how urban forest design could contribute to human well-being