Shinrin-Yoku and Urban Forests: A Systematic Review on Forest Bathing in Urban Landscape

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Kanokwalee Suteethorn

Abstract

Research on forest bathing has been conducted for more than 30 years in different parts of the world.  The health benefits from spending time in nature including healing attributes that forests provide have been proved in a number of studies. However, most studies have taken place in natural forests outside cities. There is still skepticism as to whether urban greens, trees, and forests can provide similar benefits. The objective of the paper is to review the literature on forest bathing in urban green spaces and urban forests, in order to explore different models, patterns, research procedures, and measurement methods used to assess health effects from forest bathing. By examining potential locations for urban forest bathing, research participants, and methodologies used in selected literatures, the results from this study will be used as a guideline for research design on forest bathing in urban landscape. The article is a literature review by systematically searching from two platforms, Scopus and ScienceDirect, using 2 sets of key words. The first set consists of 4 words: Shinrin Yoku, Forest Bathing, Forest Therapy and Forest Walk. The second word set are: Urban Parks, Urban Landscape, Urban Forests, and “Urban Green. Then all the findings went through a selection procedure which included five rounds of screening and elimination, classified by date published. The final 15 research papers were selected for thorough examination to find patterns and trends of research on forest bathing in urban landscapes.

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