A greener city is better for wellbeing

The promotion of a more ‘tranquil’ city can for some people mean more access to green spaces, such as parks, canals or rivers. A lot of the posts currently collected on the #tranquilcitylondon Instagram page are green spaces and therefore show their value in our cities.

The fact that we are drawn to these types of spaces may well be linked to their benefit to our own wellbeing. Research conducted by Exeter University has found direct links with the amount of green space in a persons urban environment to better wellbeing and mental health.

“We’ve found that living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space can have a significantly positive impact on wellbeing, roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married.” Dr Mathew White from Exeter University stated in 2013.

Other research conducted by the university by Dr Ian Alcock has specifically linked moving to a greener area improves people’s mental health, and has a lasting effect even well after they have moved.

One issue that Dr White states in the press release of this research is the limited funding opportunities to promote the benefits of these spaces. How should this research be funded? How should what it finds be enforced? We feel that this should be at a policy level to ensure that open spaces remain accessible to all and are not developed on for any financial benefit, especially in centre of London ‘prime’ locations.

Dr White says that “this research could be important for psychologists, public health officials and urban planners who are interested in learning about the effects that urbanisation and city planning can have on population health and wellbeing”

We want to encourage this link with wellbeing at a citizen level, presenting what areas you find that are better for your health and wellbeing and hopefully exposing us all to more of them that we don’t know about yet.

Links to the full Exeter University’s articles are here.

http://www.ecehh.org/research-projects/urban-green-space/

 

All the best,

Tranquil City team

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