The health & well being benefits of urban planting

Posted on 18th November 2020

The health & well being benefits of urban planting

Well-being is as we know inextricably linked with our surrounding environment and it is proven that natural landscapes have a positive effect on our mental health. It is for this reason that urban planning now demands the inclusion of urban green infrastructure. Bailey Street Furniture Group recognise that elements of this infrastructure will need to include green roofs, green walls, clever planting and rooftop gardens.

Each urban area will need to consider key environmental opportunities such as light, heat, water and carbon dioxide. Green and living spaces have long been associated with well-being. Planting within our cities provides a plethora of benefits. Colour, character, shade, water runoff control, CO2 balancing and many more.

As our urbanisation grows and grows we need to demand more from our planting. Decoration alone will not be enough. We will need to gain a better knowledge of plant science, how our green spaces can function within an urban one and how we can utilise these spaces effectively to maximise their properties for our health and well being.

Urban planting and trees can help mitigate some of the negative impacts of urbanisation and allow our cities to be more resilient to our climate changes in the future.

The benefits of green spaces around our homes and buildings are extensive. A mature tree can absorb up to 150kg of CO2 per year. Within cities with high levels of pollution, trees can improve the air quality. Strategic planting can help cool the air between 2-8 degrees and thus helps to reduce the urban heat island.

Large areas of planting are excellent for filtering all our urban pollutants and fine particles, they absorb pollutant gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and also filter fine harmful particles such as dust, dirt or smoke. 

There is a huge body of research that shows that living within or near to an urban green space can improve both physical and mental health. Some of these benefits include lowering blood pressure and stress levels. 

Eco therapy is a growing field in the world of science, and it has shown that there is a strong connection between time spent in nature and the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. It is not exactly clear why but it has been shown that those who took part in a nature walk everyday had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area of the brain that focuses on negative thoughts and emotions. Our interaction with natural spaces also offers other therapeutic benefits. Calming nature sounds and even outdoor space and silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol which in turn calms the body’s fight or flight response.

The visual aspects of nature can also have a soothing effect, having something pleasant to focus on such as planting, trees or greenery helps distract your mind from negative thinking.

Mature trees also reduce carbon emissions by helping conserve energy, the correct placement of trees around a building can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30% and reduce winter heating bills by 20-50% Urban properties that are surrounded by trees have an increased property value by up to 20%. Throughout their lifetime, trees can thus provide a benefit package worth two to three times more than the investment made in planting and caring for them.

In line with current thinking and research Bailey Street Furniture Group have designed a flexible, modular retaining wall system which is perfect for creating raised planting schemes in our urban environments. Easy installation of the modules makes this planting system perfect for all areas of our cityscape, from street courtyards to roof terraces. Inspira provides us with a blank canvas, enabling natural planting and colour introduction within all areas of our towns and cities.

Inspira Seating integrates seamlessly with both the linear and beautiful organic curves of the modules to create a social space. A valuable place to sit calmly among a pocket of green space bringing an essential sense of wellbeing. The organically shaped installations of Inspira Form allow the organically shaped installations to provide a visually pleasant focus to our cities inhabitants.

View the Inspira Range.

For more information on BSFG please contact their team on 01625 322 888 or email To view the company’s wide range of high quality street furniture visit their website

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