Dr Kate Lee


kate.lee@unimelb.edu.au    + 61 3 9035 6827

I am examining how planted ‘green’ roofs can restore wellbeing and workplace productivity.

Viewing nature can improve concentration and mood and may even boost productivity.  As city populations and density increase, green roofs are likely to become important sources of green views for city employees spending long hours at work and experiencing high levels of stress.

My research explores whether, and how, green roof views may restore psychological wellbeing, mood and performance, drained through work. It highlights important considerations for green roof construction and design: incorporating plants which people like looking at means that these green roofs are more likely to be used and provide benefits for employees and organizations. This has implications for healthy and supportive workplace design, and for promoting more sustainable and liveable cities

Kate’s work has been featured in media outlets including the Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Australian Financial Review, ABC Radio, and 3AW.


Williams K, Lee K, Hartig T, Sargent L, Williams N and Johnson K (2018) Conceptualising creativity benefits of nature experience: Attention restoration and mind wandering as complementary processes. Journal of Environmental Psychology 59:36-45

Lee K, Sargent L, Williams N and Williams K (2018) Linking green micro-breaks with mood and performance: Mediating roles of coherence and effort. Journal of Environmental Psychology 60:81-88

The grass is greener on the other side: understanding the effects of green spaces on Twitter user sentiments 2018

Williams, N. S. G., Rayner, J. P., Lee, K. E., Fletcher, T. D., Chen, D., Szota, C., & Farrell, C. (2016). Developing Australian green roofs: overview of a 5-year research program. Acta Hortic. 1108, 345-352.

Lee, K.E., Williams, K.J.H., Sargent, L.D., Williams, N.S.W., & Johnson, K.A. (2015). 40-second green roof views sustain attention: The role of micro-breaks in attention restoration. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 42, 182–189.

Lee, K.E., Williams, K.J.H., Sargent, L.D., Farrell, C., & Williams, N.S.W. (2014). Living roof preference is influenced by plant characteristics and diversity. Landscape and Urban Planning, 122, 152-159.



Green Roofs: The Conversation, Harvard Business Review

Twitter Green Space: The Conversation, The Project – Channel 10, 12 July 2017


Researching the benefits of demonstration green roofs across Australia



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