L’Université dans la Nature (UdN) is a non-profit organization that provides science-based knowledge and tools to help address a wide range of issues related to the decline of cognitive health and the impact on the prosperity of modern organizations and societies in a sustainable and innovative way. Founders Emilia and Hubert Mansion’s idea to bring nature back into focus is based on their own life experience. With L’Université dans la Nature, they want to contribute to the creation of a society where closeness to nature and technological progress are in balance.
Since its creation, UdN has operated primarily as a virtual research center. It is the only one in the world that collects data and maintains a scientific bibliography of more than 1,200 studies and meta-analyses in the fields of biopsychology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social sciences, public health, and more. It brings together experts to explore the impact of nature on human health and well-being and compile existing data to produce studies, knowledge dissemination tools, and practical and experiential activities.
The human species has ultimately evolved into an urban species, with more than half of the world’s population living in cities. One impact of the industrialization process, contemporary architecture, and urbanism is the disconnect between citizens and nature and all its direct benefits. For disadvantaged populations, who often lack trees and green spaces, the impact is even greater. It is frightening: children who did not spend their first ten years of life near green spaces have a 55% higher risk of mental illness in adulthood. Given the undeniable positive impact of nature on health and well-being, UdN has developed practical programs to improve people’s cognitive and physical health and well-being through contact with nature. In addition, UdN advocates for improvements in public policy development to integrate best practices in medicine and education, as well as in urban planning and many other areas of civil society.