Aug 21, 2019

Green space boosts mental health

Kim Hart, author of Cities

Chicago. Photo: JaySi/Getty Images

Plenty of governments add green space to improve physical health. Few, however, consider the psychological benefits these spaces provide.

Driving the news: Research published in the latest issue of Science Advances explains the growing evidence that suggests contact with nature can improve psychological well-being and reduce risk factors for some types of mental illness.

For example, the value of mental health benefits was calculated to be 7% of the total economic benefits of London parks, amounting to £6.8 billion ($8.3 billion) over 30 years, per a report by VividEconomics.

But, but, but: Opportunities to experience nature are decreasing rapidly as more and more people move into cities around the globe.

  • "The repercussions of these choices on mental health may add up to be quite significant on a population level" over the coming decades, the researchers wrote.

Go deeper: L.A. hires first ever forest officer (Smart Cities Dive)

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