Classic Studies

Ulrich, R.S. (1984). View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery. Science, New Series, 224(4647), 420-421.

Synopsis: This formative study explored whether a window view of a natural setting improved the recovery time of surgical patients. Information used in the study was from patient records from a suburban hospital in Pennsylvania from 1972 to 1981. Patients with similar characteristics but with different window views (one having a view of a natural setting and the other with a view of a brick wall) were matched and their recoveries compared against one another. The results found that patients with a natural view had a shorter postoperative hospital stay, more positive evaluation comments from nurses, took fewer pain medications, and also experienced slightly fewer postsurgical complications.

Wolch, J. (1996). Zoöpolis. Capitalism, nature, socialism, 7(2), 21-47.

Synopsis: Wolch challenges conventional urban theory and development practices, which she contends “disregard nonhuman life.” Wolch reviews ways in which these theories and practices, along with the urban environmental movement, can be transformed through adoption of “a transspecies urban theory.” Wolch argues for pursuit of Zoöpolis, an urban configuration including animals and nature in the city. In Wolch’s vision, people will “renaturalize cities and invite the animals back in – and in the process re-enchant the city.”