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Louisville, Kentucky Launches A “Controlled Study of Nature as a Medical Intervention”

October 17, 2018 |

This article was originally published on 

“The U.S. city of Louisville, Kentucky isn’t known as a hotbed of environmental action and innovation, but that could change as it has recently become home to a first-of-its-kind collaboration between environmentalists, city leaders and public health professionals. The Green Heart Project, funded in part by the United States National Institutes of Health, will plant trees in neighborhoods throughout the city and monitor how they affect residents’ health. It’s a boundary-pushing medical trial—a controlled study of nature as a medical intervention.

Green Heart is just one project in one city, but it represents a new way of thinking about the role of conservation in solving human problems. It is part of an emerging model for cross-sector collaboration that aims to create a world ready for the sustainability challenges ahead.

Is this world possible? Here, we present a new science-based view that says “Yes”—but it will require new forms of collaboration across traditionally disconnected sectors, and on a near unprecedented scale.

Many assume that economic interests and environmental interests are in conflict. But new research makes the case that this perception of development vs. conservation is not just unnecessary but actively counterproductive to both ends. Achieving a  will be dependent on our ability to secure both thriving human communities and abundant and healthy natural ecosystems…”

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