This article, written by Hazel Borys, was originally published at PlaceShakers and Newsmakers, and has been shared with permission with The Town of Whitehall.
As much as I love my city in the winter, when summer rolls around life brightens up. The onslaught of studies imply that our feel-good response to the fresh lime green of summer does much more than pump endorphin’s. How we green our cities may be a life and death issue. People with greenery close to home have significantly lower mortality rates, according to new analysis of the extensive Nurses’ Health Study.
If you’re a frequent PlaceShakers reader, you’ve heard them tout biophilia – or the love of living systems – particularly where nature has been integrated into urbanism. They have blogged about compact development patterns as a tool for rural preservation. We’ve explored the rapid change for the Inuit living on the land, where they’ve gone “from igloos to internet” in 40 years. And on Huffington Post, PlaceMakers’ Kaid Benfield is an advocate for the landscape, weaving preservation into development policy and nature into neighborhoods.
Think of yourself as chemical and mechanical organisms, without getting how energetic we really are. Bio-electromagnetism looks at the subtle – and not so subtle – energies that regulate living organisms.
This includes the neural communications within your nervous system, the electromagnetic field across your heart that keeps it beating, electric pulses that contract and release muscles, and even the way that the charge across your cell walls changes to take in nutrients and discard waste. Earth, too, is governed by electromagnetic that keeps the poles guiding migratory animals, and ourselves in ways we don’t pay attention to, and certainly can’t quantify. But it helps us “get our bearings.”
The ability of greenness to decrease mortality is thanks to better mental health through decreased depression risk and increased social engagement. Additionally, greenness reduces cancer, respiratory, and kidney-disease mortality due to less air pollution exposure and more physical activity.
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