In late April, researchers at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter published a study on mental well-being in relation to green space. The study utilized 18 years of data from the British Household Panel Survey, which followed more than 10,000 participants in 5000 households. Researchers used the data to assess life satisfaction and mental distress as people moved throughout England to areas with more or less green space. Researchers found that mental distress was lower and life satisfaction was higher for people living in areas with more green space. In fact, moving to an area with more green space had about one-third the positive effect of getting married and about one-tenth the effect of becoming employed. Based on this research, adding more green space to urban areas could substantially increase mental well-being at the population level. The paper, “Would You Be Happier Living in a Greener Urban Area? A Fixed-Effects Analysis of Panel Data,” is published in the journal Psychological Science. Read more.

Investigating the impacts of urban green spaces on wellbeing from ECEHH on Vimeo.