4 Recent Papers on Green Space and Health

 healthy Places

The Landscape Institute’s report, ‘Public Health and Landscape – Creating healthy places’ states that it’s not only people’s physical environment that affects their health and wellbeing; there are many relevant personal and social factors too. In order to plan, design and manage places so that they positively influence the health and wellbeing of communities, we need to identify and work with all these factors. They are called the ‘determinants of health’, and were first referred to by Dahlgren and Whitehead in 1991 in their landmark paper, ‘What can be done about inequalities in health?’ We use them to underpin the following five principles that we believe are essential to the creation of healthy places:

  1. Healthy places improve air, water and soil quality, incorporating measures that help us adapt to, and where possible mitigate, climate change
  2. Healthy places help overcome health inequalities and can promote healthy lifestyles
  3. Healthy places make people feel comfortable and at ease, increasing social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour, isolation and stress
  4. Healthy places optimise opportunities for working, learning and development
  5. Healthy places are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions

Following on from the LI’s focus on landscape and health here are 4 recently published research papers of interest:

  1. Urban planning and the importance of green space in cities to human and environmental health: http://tinyurl.com/qa7ck9h
  2. Urban parks and fall walks lead to lower levels of negative emotions and anxiety: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/11/14216
  3. Green space and mental health: pathways, impacts and gaps: http://tinyurl.com/js9em72
  4. The influence of neighbourhood green space on children’s physical activity and screen time: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26419752/
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