Green neighbourhoods linked to improved mental health, says study

The Independent newspaper reports (April 2018) that:

“He is calling on city planners to give powers to health professionals to reshape streets to boost mental wellbeing …”

“Natural neighbourhoods lined with trees, gardens, and flowering plants can be a green ‘pill’ for depression and anxiety, according to the largest study of mental health and nature in British cities.

The research, by the Universities of Oxford and Hong Kong (HKU), was the first to use high-resolution aerial photography to give a fresh perspective on the streets of 10 cities in England, Scotland and Wales and probed the mental health of some 95,000 people.

The report linked greenery to reduced stress in a wide range of neighbourhoods – from heavily concreted inner cities to leafy suburban boroughs – and finally provides solid evidence for the widespread belief that nature safeguards mental wellbeing, says Dr Chinmoy Sarkar, assistant professor at the Healthy High Density Cities Lab at HKU.

Sarkar says researchers cancelled out other factors, such as disparities in wealth, to discover that exposure to nature alone can cut the odds of serious depressive disorders by more than 5 per cent …”

Read more here.

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