That's not really all that surprising, is it? It mirrors what's happening in our lives. Most children spend the vast majority of their time indoors or in built environments (e.g., cities), so why would we expect characters in books to do otherwise?
And does it really matter, anyway? As one discussant in a recent LinkedIn discussion asked, should we be disturbed by this trend?
I'll let you come to your own conclusions on this, but first, a few items of interest.
- Children who live near natural settings experience less stress. (source)
- Kids who move to greener locations demonstrate improved cognitive abilities. (source)
- Kids with ADHD have milder symptoms when they have regular "green time"--time spent in nature. (source)
- Symptoms of ADHD decrease immediately following a 20-minute walk through a park. (source)
- Inner-city girls with a view of nature (e.g., trees outside their windows) have greater self-discipline and are better able to concentrate. (source)
- Areas with trees provide better opportunities for play, and play is an important part of childhood development. (source)
- Young children who spend time in "outdoor classrooms" have longer attention spans and better motor coordination than children who spend only short periods of time outdoors. (source)
- People living in green areas are less likely to procrastinate, find their problems less overwhelming, and are better able to overcome them. (source)
- People living in housing near green areas (trees and grass) are less likely to be involved in domestic violence. (source)
- People living in areas with more natural settings are healthier. (source)
- Patients with a view of natural scenery recover faster from surgery and request less pain medication. (source)
- College students with natural views outside their dorm windows are better able to concentrate. (source)