Glossary and references

Last changed: 03 August 2023


Human flourishing: Human flourishing is defined by UNESCO as the optimal continuing development of human beings' potentials and living well as a human being, which means being engaged in relationships and activities that are meaningful.

Environmental psychology: an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the transactions and interrelationships between individuals and groups with their surroundings.

Fractal patterns and nature: Fractal are complex patterns that repeat across different scales. There are many examples of natural fractals in nature, such as the patterns in the branches of trees, and in the shapes of a cauliflower. 

Restorative environments: environments with characteristics that can promote and permit restoration.



Levin J. Human Flourishing and Population Health: Meaning, Measurement, and Implications. Perspect Biol Med. 2020;63(3):401-419. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2020.0029. PMID: 33416615.

Taylor, R. P., Spehar, B., Van Donkelaar, P., & Hagerhall, C. M. (2011). Perceptual and Physiological Responses to Jackson Pollock's Fractals. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 5, 60.

van den Bosch, M., & Bird, W. (Eds.), (2018). Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health: The role of nature in improving the health of a population. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 Feb. 2022, from


Key chapters from Nature and public health:

  • Chapter 2.4 (Environmental enrichment: neurophysiological responses and consequences for health)
  • Chapter 2.5 (Biological Mechanisms and Neurophysiological responses)
  • Chapter 2.6 (Nature and Environment in Behavioural Medicine)
  • Chapter 3.4 (Preventing stress and promoting mental health)