Special Issue "Advances in Restorative Environments Research: People, Contexts, and Processes"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Massimiliano Scopelliti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Human Studies, LUMSA University, and Centre for Interuniversity Research on Environmental Psychology (CIRPA), Rome, Italy
Interests: restorative environments and well-being; biodiversity protection; urban environmental quality; place attachment; terrorism and media
Dr. Ferdinando Fornara
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Education, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari CA, Italy
Interests: environmental psychology; architectural psychology; social psychology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environments can be defined as “restorative” when they promote stress reduction, the recovery of cognitive resources (e.g., directed attention), and overall conditions of health and well-being. Nature has been largely investigated for its restorative potential, but some built environments have also been found to foster restoration, such as, among others, historical sites, museums, monasteries, and pleasant residential environments. The scientific literature on restorative environments has consistently shown their positive effects on health and well-being. Beyond the understanding of several positive outcomes, the scientific community has recently shown an increasing interest in more specific themes, such as referring to people who can experience the above benefits, under what circumstances, and through what psychological processes. However, much more still needs to be understood on several issues, such as:
- restoration and healthy outcomes for different groups of people;
- restoration and healthy outcomes in different typologies of restorative environments;
- relevant psychological mechanisms of psychological restoration, health, and well-being. 
Papers addressing these issues are welcome for this Special Issue of IJERPH, particularly when proposing sharp and cutting-edge studies on relevant mediators and moderators of psychological restoration and related healthy outcomes.

Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Scopelliti
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ferdinando Fornara
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • restorative environments
  • nature
  • built environments
  • stress
  • attention
  • cognitive resources
  • emotions
  • health
  • well-being

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
How Can Flowers and Their Colors Promote Individuals’ Physiological and Psychological States during the COVID-19 Lockdown?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10258; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910258 - 29 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The global spread of COVID-19 has disrupted the normality of people’s daily lives, leading the population to social distancing and isolation. The closure of green areas also affected the well-being of the individual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewing flowers is expected to have [...] Read more.
The global spread of COVID-19 has disrupted the normality of people’s daily lives, leading the population to social distancing and isolation. The closure of green areas also affected the well-being of the individual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewing flowers is expected to have similar positive effects to viewing natural scenery. Therefore, this study investigates how white, red, and yellow flower colors affect individuals’ psychological and physiological well-being. The experiment was conducted in an office-like setting with 50 participants. Participants looked at each flower color for 3 min. Electroencephalograms (EEGs), heart rate variability, and skin conductivity were measured to evaluate physiological responses along with both the semantic differential questionnaire (SD) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) to assess psychological responses. EEGs showed that the mean values of alpha relative power in the prefrontal lobe were significantly higher when viewing yellow and red flowers vs. white flowers. Furthermore, heart rate variability revealed that viewing yellow and red flowers increased parasympathetic nerve activity significantly. After viewing the yellow and red flowers, the average results for each subscale of the POMS questionnaire improved. The vigor (V) subscale and overall mood status values were significantly improved. The results of the SD method revealed that viewing yellow and red flowers resulted in a significantly higher sense of relaxation, cheerfulness, and comfort than viewing white flowers. Full article
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Article
Viewing Nature Lets Your Mind Run Free: Three Experiments about the Influence of Viewing a Nature Video on Cognitive Coping with Psychological Distress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8842; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168842 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Viewing nature has restorative qualities that might help people cope with their personal struggles. Three lab experiments (N = 506) studied whether environment (nature vs. built) influences cognitive coping with psychological distress. Psychological distress was induced with an autobiographical recall task about [...] Read more.
Viewing nature has restorative qualities that might help people cope with their personal struggles. Three lab experiments (N = 506) studied whether environment (nature vs. built) influences cognitive coping with psychological distress. Psychological distress was induced with an autobiographical recall task about serious regret, whereafter participants were randomly assigned to view a nature or built video. Cognitive coping (i) Quantity, (ii) Content, and (iii) Quality were hereafter assessed as well as extent and vividness of the regretful memory during the video. Results showed a higher cognitive coping Quantity (Study 1 and 3) and a higher cognitive coping Quality (All studies) for the nature (vs. built) condition. Regarding cognitive coping Content, results varied across the studies. Additionally, participants reported to have thought about the experienced psychological distress to a greater extent while viewing the nature (vs. built) video. Yet they did rate viewing nature as more relaxing. We propose a two-step pathway as an underlying mechanism of restoration. In the first step the capacity for directed attention replenishes. Secondly, this renewed capacity is directed towards internal processes, creating the optimal setting for reflection. Hence, viewing nature allows people to truly process whatever is occupying their minds, which is ultimately relieving and beneficial for mental health. Full article
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