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An International Plant People Interaction Resource Center
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
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green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
green line as background
Contribution & Volunteering
Please contact,
Dr. Candice Shoemaker, Chair
Dr. Andy Kaufman, Vice-Chair/Communications

people-plant interaction logo

What is Human Issues in Horticulture (HIH)

HIH looks at the influences of plants on people in all aspects of their lives. The focus is beyond the obvious environmental benefits that plants provide such as replenishing oxygen supply, preventing soil erosion, cooling neighborhoods and filtering dust to mention a few, but how plants affect people in social and aesthetic dimensions. Research has reveled some powerful effects that plants have on people such as: plants can lower people’s stress levels, increase concentration, have preference for particular landscape and plant forms, and aid in faster recovery from surgery are just a few examples.  Specifically, HIH addresses the aesthetic, social, cultural, psychological, and the physiological responses that humans have from plants.  Other terms used to refer to this broad concept include socio-horticulture, people-plant interaction (PPI), and human dimensions in horticulture. HIH includes all of the above areas of concern, plus economic and marketing issues; physical and environmental amelioration by plants; food and nutrition; ethnobotany considerations as they apply to horticulture; and the role of horticulture in art, music, drama, and philosophy, as well as other issues. These benefits and practices may come in the form of horticultural therapy, community gardening, children's gardening, healing gardens, nearby nature, landscaping and interior plants. 

Mission and Strategy

HIH is to facilitate the mission of the People Plant Council (PPC), an international group of various individuals and professions, which is to document and communicate the effect that plants have on human well-being and improved life-quality. A method of this is through this website and the associated electronic newsletter (PPC-L). The PPC-L and website provides rapid international sharing of information. It is carried out through a three-part strategy focusing on the psychological, sociological, physiological, economic, and environmental effects of plants on people:

  • Communication - maintaining an interdisciplinary network among researchers, funders, users, and Council affiliates.
  • Research - encouraging cooperative efforts to identify research priorities and establish interdisciplinary research methodologies
  • Public awareness - encouraging the use of horticulture for enhanced life-quality based on research findings

Examples of the uses are:

  1. Serve as a conduit to distribute information through an electronic PPC newsletter with links to a webpage where the newsletter will be archived. These will have such functions as;
    • Announce meetings, conferences, and other related events of interest
    • Share information with colleagues regarding new funding sources, new research, and programs.
  2. Provide a gateway to individuals for accessing a discussion board that serves the following functions:
    • Discuss issues and ideas of interest to landscape architects, horticulturists, environmental psychologists, horticultural therapists, educators and other design, and horticultural related fields, such as:
    • Journal articles.
    • Future research.
    • Future events.
    • The 'theoretical foundations, and practical applications' of People-Plant research.
    • The nature and appropriateness of People-Plant education.
    • How to fulfill our ethical and social responsibilities.
    • Develop collaborative projects and granting opportunities.
  3. Offer an opportunity to ask for help and/or advice from broader cross section of disciplines than is represented with any one area of education, research or practice.
Special thanks to Plant Publicity Holland for webpage development and support.
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hands holding yougn plant
Last Updated: 01/11/2007