Urban green spaces and health: a review of evidence

By Robert Lyons on 9th November 2016

A new report by the World Health Organization summarises evidence on the beneficial effects of urban green spaces, including improved mental health, reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as improved pregnancy outcomes.  It identifies urban green space indicators which are suitable for wide-scale application in the European Region and proposes an indicator definition and data analysis tool kit for universal use.  This measures accessibility of green spaces of defined minimum sizes suitable for physical activity and mental relaxation. 

The report suggests that there is a need for small, local green spaces very close to where people live and spend their day, as well as large green spaces, offering formal provisions such as playing fields, and opportunities to experience contact with nature and relative solitude. 

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