The Residential Context of Health

This running project encompasses a variety of activities, internally funded through salary support for Terry Hartig. In general, this work concerns health in relation to social and physical properties of urban residential environments. To date, the research has involved collaborations with researchers in several countries in addition to Sweden, including Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Netherlands, the UK, and the USA, among others. Some of these collaborative efforts overlap in their concerns with research described under other projects here. Some of the collaborations are ongoing.

A distinctive feature of these studies is guiding theory about how aspects of the residential context come to affect health through psychological and social processes, such as psychological restoration. Completed studies have addressed questions about diverse physical and social aspects of the residential context at multiple scales, from the contents of window views in apartments to architectural complexity seen in residential streetscapes to the amount of green space in the area around the residence.

The studies done to date have applied a variety of methodological approaches, from registration of responses to environmental manipulations in laboratory and on-line settings to large epidemiological studies looking at individual or population health outcomes in relation to characteristics of residence such as the form of housing tenure. 

This project also encompasses the workshops regularly convened at conferences of the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), as organized by the ENHR Working Group on the Residential Context of Health. This working group was launched in 1998 by Terry Hartig and Roderick Lawrence (University of Geneva, Switzerland), and it has provided a context for presentation of studies described above as well as work done by researchers from many countries. In 2016, Emma Baker (University of Adelaide, Australia) replaced Roderick Lawrence as co-coordinator of the ENHR Working Group.

Select publications:

Masoudinejad, S., & Hartig, T. (published on-line). Window view to the sky as a restorative resource for residents in densely populated cities. Environment & Behavior.

Dzhambov, A., Hartig, T., Markevych, I., Tilov, B., & Dimitrova, D. (2018). Urban residential greenspace and mental health in youth: Different approaches to testing multiple pathways yield different conclusions.  Environmental Research, 160, 47-59.

Von Lindern, E., Hartig, T., & Lercher, P. (2016). Traffic-related exposures, constrained restoration, and health in the residential context. Health & Place, 39, 92-100.

Lindal, P. J., & Hartig, T. (2013). Architectural variation, building height, and the restorative quality of urban residential streetscapes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 33, 26-36.

Fransson, U., & Hartig, T. (2010). Leisure home ownership and early death: A longitudinal study in Sweden. Health & Place, 16, 71-78.

Hartig, T., & Fransson, U. (2006). Housing tenure and early retirement for health reasons in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 34, 472-479.

Hartig, T., Johansson, G., & Kylin, C. (2003). Residence in the social ecology of stress and restoration. Journal of Social Issues, 59, 611-636.

Hartig, T., Lindblom, K., & Ovefelt, K. (1998). The home and near-home area offer restoration opportunities differentiated by gender. Scandinavian Housing and Planning Research, 15 (Supplement), 283-296.